Robin van Persie has opened up over his controversial decision to join Manchester United in 2012.
The former Netherlands international has been looking back on his career after announcing his retirement, playing the final game of his illustrious career for Dutch side Feyenoord earlier this month.
Seven years ago, the then-Arsenal captain decided to leave the Emirates to join Premier League rivals United, having grown frustrated at the North London club’s inability to compete for major honours.
The £24m defection sparked outrage amongst Arsenal supporters, however, Van Persie’s decision seemed justified when he inspired Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to the Premier League title in his debut season at Old Trafford.
Looking back on the controversial move, Van Persie admitted his relief at the decision being vindicated by winning silverware.
“Thank God I won the league there!” Van Persie told the BBC.
“That was the target. In that first year, everything coming together was really special.
“I got half the [goalscoring] chances at Manchester United than the year before at Arsenal, and I scored almost the same amount of goals. So then you just know that it goes your way.
“I got help from my colleagues, from Sir Alex – he really pushed the guys to pass the ball to me. After a few months, everyone at the club had a feeling like, ‘OK, this is going to be our year’. Difficult games, we won.
”Lucky goals were going in. When you know it’s going your way…”
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— Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) May 23, 2019