Former Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has named six of the best players he has ever played with during his career, which saw him play for Feyenoord, Arsenal, United, Fenerbahce, finishing his career at his first club, spending 19 years playing the game he loved. He won some major honours too, lifting eight trophies – one of them being the Premier League, which the player was proud of.
Four of the players he named as the best he has ever played with all played for United, however, he only ever played with three of them whilst he was at the club. The 35-year-old moved to United in the summer of 2012, at the time rumours were not true with Arsenal not offering him a new contract, which is something that was confirmed by the player in recent weeks.
The Dutchman was asked by BBC Sport to pick the best player that he has ever player with during his career, however, Van Persie was unable to pick just one player, playing with some of the best players in the world during his time in the game. So instead, he named the best six players he had played with, which seems surprising considering how long he spend at United as opposed to Arsenal and Feyenoord.
Van Persie had a great relationship with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and was gutted when the manager announced his retirement during his first season at the club, the same season that he was the clubs top scorer and being the main driving force with the club winning their 20th league title, a 13th Premier League title. When asked by BBC Sport to name his most talented teammate, the Dutchman said:
“So difficult to name one. I would go for Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy.”
Obviously, the Dutchman played with Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry at Arsenal, playing with the former internationally with The Netherlands also. During his time at United, he played with Paul Scholes for one season, him retiring at the end of the 2012/13 season and player with Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney until he left the club in the summer of 2015. He never played with Ruud van Nistelrooy at United, only internationally with the Netherlands.
It is good that Van Persie holds United with so much regard even if he was forced out of the club by then manager Louis Van Gaal in the summer of 2015, when he left for Turkish side Fenerbahce. He had one year remaining on his contract at the club but the fellow Dutchman seemingly wanted the player gone, with the club accepting just £3.84 million for the player. Van Persie, speaking about his United exit, said:
“Because I had one more year on my deal, maybe I should have stayed. But then Van Gaal was the coach and he made it quite clear what his intentions were.
“Then you have to make a decision: Do you stay and fight for your place? Would it be an honest competition or not? Based on all that info, we decided to move on.
“But three years is not three days, it’s still a long period, it’s still a big part of my football career, and in total 11 years of football in England… as a kid I would never have dreamed of that.”