Published on Jan 23, 2013
Robin van Persie (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɔbɪn vɑn ˈpɛrsi] born 6 August 1983) is a Dutch footballer who plays as a striker for Manchester United and the Dutch national team. He is a youth product of Feyenoord. Having joined Arsenal in 2004, Van Persie became the club captain on 16 August 2011, one year before he joined rivals Manchester United. His playing style and ability have drawn comparison to Dutch legend Marco van Basten.
The son of two artists, Van Persie was encouraged to follow in his parents' footsteps, but he instead preferred football and joined SBV Excelsior's youth squad. He made his breakthrough at another hometown club Feyenoord, where he spent three seasons and won the 2002 UEFA Cup. He was named the Dutch Football Talent of the Year for the 2001--02 season. Disagreements with manager Bert van Marwijk culminated in a change of club and Van Persie moved to Premier League side Arsenal for £2.75 million in 2004 as a long-term replacement for Dennis Bergkamp. He won the FA Community Shield and the FA Cup in his first season with the London club and went on to win the 2006 Rotterdam Sportsman of the year award. Van Persie has been named Premier League Player of the Month three times.
Van Persie was a Dutch youth international, having represented the Netherlands under-17, under-19 and under-21 sides. He made his senior international debut in 2005 in a friendly match against Romania. One month later, he netted his first senior international goal in a 4--0 win over Finland. Van Persie has 70 caps so far and has scored 30 goals for the Netherlands. He represented his country in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and UEFA Euro 2012.
"I always listen to the little boy inside of me in these situations -- when you have to make the harder decisions in life. What does he want? That boy was screaming for Man United."
"From my side, and Arsenal as well, there are no hard feelings. There were certain elements which were vital to me that we had a different view. That is life. Nobody is angry at me and I'm not angry at them."
Robin van Persie, in regards to his transfer to Manchester United
On 15 August 2012, Arsenal announced they had agreed terms with Manchester United for his transfer, but Van Persie had yet to agree personal terms with the club. On 17 August, Van Persie transferred to Manchester United for an initial £22.5 million, with an additional £1.5 million to follow if United won a Premier League or Champions League title within the next four years. He signed a four-year contract, keeping him at the club until June 2016.
He made his debut on 20 August, coming on as a 68th-minute substitute for Danny Welbeck in a 1--0 loss to Everton. Five days later, with his first shot for the club, he scored his first Manchester United goal, United's first in a 3--2 victory over Fulham. On 2 September 2012, he scored his first hat-trick for United in another 3--2 victory over Southampton, helping pull United back from a 2--1 deficit; his third goal was his 100th in the Premier League. Van Persie netted a late penalty on 23 September to give United a 2--1 away win at Anfield against Liverpool, and opened his European account with the club, scoring a brace in the 2--1 away win against CFR Cluj, with both goals assisted by Wayne Rooney. On 20 October, Van Persie scored United's second goal in a 4--2 win over Stoke City, opening up his body and guiding a cross into the far corner with his left foot. In the next Premier League game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, he scored his 7th goal in the league, with a sidefoot finish from Antonio Valencia's driven cross to put United 2--0 up. He also played a part in the first goal, firing a shot against the post which cannoned off David Luiz and into the net, in a 3--2 United win. On 3 November, he scored against his former club Arsenal in a 2--1 victory. This meant that he had scored against all 20 current Premier League clubs. On 9 December, Van Persie scored a last minute winner from a free kick in a 3--2 victory over Manchester City, his Manchester Derby debut. This goal ended City's unbeaten Premier League record in the 2012--13 season and also their unbeaten home record extending into the previous season. .
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