Tuesday 25 October 2016

Van Persie: No hard feelings

Published 14/07/2015 | 14:36

Robin van Persie scored 58 goals in his three seasons with Manchester United
Robin van Persie scored 58 goals in his three seasons with Manchester United

Robin van Persie insists he bears no ill-feeling towards Manchester United for selling him to Fenerbahce.

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Van Persie was unveiled as a Fenerbahce player on Tuesday at a press conference at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul.

The 31-year-old Dutchman has been handed a three-year contract with the Turkish giants.

Twelve months ago, Van Persie was tipped to take over the captaincy at United, but manager Louis van Gaal has once again demonstrated his ruthless streak by disposing of a man who scored just 10 goals last season.

Van Persie rejected the opportunity to fire a parting shot at Van Gaal at his unveiling.

Indeed, the former Arsenal striker was at pains to thank the club for allowing him to move to Turkey.

''From my side, there are no hard feelings with how it went. It's part of football, it's part of life," Van Persie said.

"I had a good moment with the players the day before I came to Istanbul so that was special.

"Then you see that everyone really appreciated my time there, that was important for me.

''I highly appreciate the work of (executive vice-chairman) Ed Woodward.

"The way he dealt with this transfer is from a high level, it's very classy, he proved he's a true gentlemen in the way he dealt with the whole situation. Ed, if you're listening, thank you!''

Van Persie reiterated his thanks to United and former club Arsenal on Twitter.

He wrote: "After 11 great years in the Premier League, I have taken on a new challenge at Fenerbahce... Thank you to all the fans, who have supported me through the years... Thank you Arsenal and thank you Manchester United. Wish you all the best."

Van Persie enjoyed a stellar debut season with United following his £25million move from Arsenal in 2012.

The Holland international scored 30 goals to help Sir Alex Ferguson win the Barclays Premier League in the Scot's final year in charge of the club.

But, after Ferguson's departure, he struggled under David Moyes and there was no improvement following the arrival of Van Gaal despite enjoying an encouraging World Cup under the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager.

Van Persie only scored twice after the turn of the new year and he knew he was destined to leave the club.

''I could see it coming, if I'm really honest,'' he said of his Old Trafford exit.

''I could get used to the idea for quite a bit. It was not a situation where it was just happening from day to day so I could get used to the situation - that is football.

Fenerbahce supporters gathered at the airport to greet Van Persie on Tuesday and thousands gathered outside the stadium before the press conference to announce his move.

"I am very glad I am here," Van Persie said.

"Turkey is a beautiful place with nice people. It's a real football country, you can see the passion there is for the game here.

"There were 18,000 fans here (for the arrival), which is unbelievable for me.

"It's the first time I have experienced something like that.

"It was a really humbling experience and hopefully I will have many more special moments with the fans."

Van Persie will link up with his former United team-mate Nani, who joined Fenerbahce earlier this summer.

Press Association

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