Robin van Persie (born 1983) is a Dutch footballer who plays as a
striker for Manchester United and is the captain of the Netherlands
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. He is recognized as one of the best strikers in the world. 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 but did not win another major trophy for the rest of his eight-year spell at Arsenal. After joining Manchester United in 2012, Van Persie won the Premier League title in his first season at Old Trafford and finished as the league's top scorer with 26 goals. Van Persie has been named Premier League Player of the Month five times.
In 2013, he was ranked 11th in The Guardian newspaper's list of the 100 best players in the world. 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 scored his first senior international goal in a 4–0 win over Finland. Van Persie has 91 caps and has scored 47 goals for the Netherlands, making him their top scorer of all time. He has represented his country at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, and the 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championships.
Van Persie was born in Rotterdam to an artistic family. José Ras, his mother, is a painter and jewellery designer who also teaches special needs children. Bob, his father, is a sculptor. After Van Persie's parents divorced he was brought up by his father. At school, Van Persie was one of the most misbehaved children and was excluded from class almost daily. After joining Arsenal in England, Van Persie settled in Hampstead, an affluent suburb of north London. Van Persie is married to Bouchra Elbali and the couple have two children: a son named Shaqueel and daughter Dina.
In June 2005, while in Rotterdam with the Dutch national team for the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, Van Persie was arrested on suspicion of rape by Dutch police. Sandra Krijgsman, a former Miss Nigeria Holland winner, claimed that she was attacked by Van Persie in a hotel. He was held for fourteen nights in prison while the police investigated the allegations made against him but was then released without charge, though he was still under suspicion.
In February 2006, the case against Van Persie was dismissed by the Dutch Public Prosecution Service after they completed their investigations stating that no sexual contact with coercion happened, with Van Persie's accuser later admitting she had made up parts of the story. Van Persie admitted being unfaithful by having sex with Krijgsman, but he was forgiven by his wife. Van Persie spoke of his ordeal several months later, saying how degrading the experience was and how he was treated like a criminal despite his innocence. He revealed that conditions in the prison were so hot that they caused him to lose consciousness. It also emerged that more than 200 Rotterdam police officers had attempted to view his case files, with the vast majority of them unauthorised to do so.
|Robin Van Persie too young to reminisce, does anyway|
Robin van Persie looks back at the start of his football career together with his father Bob, his son Shaqueel and Soufiane Touzani, one of the best Dutch Freestyle footballers. Robin, Soufiane and the 4-year old Shaqueel show us how they handle a ball on the pitch. Bob visits 'the cage' in Rotterdam where it all started. And we see some unique imagery of a young Robin.