Manchester United’s top scorer for the season, Robin van Persie, has dismissed claims by Manchester City that the majority of fans in Manchester support the blue half of the city’s Premier League divide.
The wild scaffold decorated scenes of Manchester United’s parade through the streets of the city this week showed an ecstatic and large fan base swarming out in droves for Fergie’s swansong. The scenes made an impression on van Persie who seemed bewildered by a claim made by a Dutch team-mate a couple of years ago.
Robin told MUTV:
“I spoke to Nigel de Jong a couple of years ago when he was playing for City. He said in Manchester there were only City fans and United’s come from different cities all over the world.”
It seems Nigel De Jong had been swallowing a little too much fan propaganda. Maybe next year Chelsea’s players will follow suit in adopting fan slogans and claim their Europa League victory makes them ‘Champions of Europe’.
After taking in this breath of reality, van Persie continued :
“It sounded a bit weird. I have to adjust him on that now and say it is definitely not true. It is at least 50-50, or, after last Monday, maybe it is 80-20.”
The scenes were reminiscent of the treble winning parade of 1999 and even Sir Alex Ferguson declared that the supporting class of 2013 had eclipsed that seminal moment in celebration.
The little boy inside RVP, the same one that held him to ransom to go to Manchester United in August, must have been in raptures of ecstasy at the sights of around 100,000 fans chanting his name in celebration of the title which had so long eluded him. It certainly seems to have made an emotional impact on the appreciative soon to be Premier League golden boot recipient ,
“It just came out of nowhere there were more and more people appearing as the tour went on. I saw people on roofs, on balconies, on traffic lights. They were absolutely everywhere.
“There is one picture of people of so many people hanging out of a building. I had a lot of nice pictures before but there was one thing missing. Now I have some with the trophy and fans. We couldn’t wish for more.”
No doubt it has been a wildly successful season for the striker. But, testament to his reputation as a perfectionist professional, the talisman was not concentrating on his own success but on that which he brought to the club.
“I do remember speaking about number 20 and that I wanted to win it for the club,” he said. “To be able to achieve it is incredible because no other club has done that before. It has been an amazing season and we are deserving champions.”
The noisy neighbours were a little more sheepish this season about their supposed popularity. All thanks to the little boy inside the big grinning Dutch striker.
By Stephen Browne
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