Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will leave Manchester United to be reunited with his former club Excelsior in his native Holland, but don’t worry yet, it is something he is looking into after his time at United is over. The Dutch striker, who is currently with his national side in Brazil as they prepare for Friday’s showdown with Spain in the World Cup gave an interview with club magazine Inside United where he revealed the age he would like to retire, among other things.
Van Persie, who signed for the Old Trafford club from Arsenal back in the summer of 2012, currently has two years left on his contract, but if Dutch manager Louis van Gaal, who takes over at the club once the Netherlands are out of the World Cup, manages to bring to best out of his striker, then he could earn another contract at the club, lengthening his time at the Manchester club. Speaking to Inside United, Van Persie said:
“I have the best job in the world. I started playing football because I loved the game, and nothing’s changed: I’m still in love with football and that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.
“I still love the challenge of going out on the training ground and improving my game, seeing if I can get better. I don’t know what my maximum is, but I’m always striving to be better than I have been before.
“Ideally, I want to play until I’m 40 – maybe I can even stretch that to 42 – but that’s what I want because this is what I love doing and it’s what I’ve done my whole life.
“I want to stretch out this experience as long as possible because I like it so much. My goal is to play 22 years of professional football and I want to experience as many good moments as I can.”
It seems that Van Persie is savouring his time at United under Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal, which I feel will bring the best of the striker back to the club, a bit like what we saw in the 2012/13 season with the player scoring goals for fun and being an intrinsic part of the squad in their dominance of the league, finishing 11 points clear of their rivals. It would be good to see that player back in the coming season.
The Dutch strikers father has also spoken to the media suggesting that his son will return to his former club Excelsior. Speaking to The Bilzzard, he said:
“When his contract ends in Manchester, he’ll be 33. As long as he is fit enough – and I am sure he will be – he’ll stay in Manchester.
“Then, he will go back to Excelsior. Money will never be an issue.
“Robin is hyperactive. He was like that as a kid and will always be like that. He needs football to burn his energy and he will be like that for the rest of his life. So he’s got to look forwards.
“He’ll probably always be loyal to Excelsior, Arsenal and Manchester United. Those clubs are like home.”
No doubt the headline will bring out the worst in people who will assume the Dutch striker is going to turn his back on the Old Trafford club, but the title of the book does not give you an idea of what happens inside the book, so each to their own. Van Persie’s father said his son will be 33 when his current contract at United ends, but providing he is still fit and able to continue at the top-level, there is no reason as to why that counteract could not be extended.
By that time though, Van Persie himself may only feel that he can play at a lower level, which will help maintain his fitness as there is a chance he may not have the pace left in him to continue to play for a top club in a competitive league, which by that time United may also be back in Europe competing at the top-level with top teams once again. He may want to complete the circle and give his former club some time whilst he can still perform, but considering the striker said himself that he sees himself playing until he is 40, maybe even 42, it shows that within himself he feels he has the strength to continue his career, so there is every chance he can be with United longer than his current contract.
Right now we away the kick off of the FIFA World Cup with the current holders Spain facing Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands side on Friday, which will be the biggest match of the opening few days of the tournament and one that both sides need to win to give them a chance to continue their participation in the elite competition. I would like to see the Netherlands go far this summer, considering they were finalists four years ago in South Africa, but they still have a lot to prove. A month of football, here we come.
By Paul Bienkowski
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