Robin van Persie has endeared himself to the Manchester United fans all season since his move from Arsenal in the summer.
From listening to the little boy inside of him to his pure, unadulterated joy at winning his first Premier League title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season as manager, he quickly settled into life at Old Trafford to become a fans’ favourite.
The 29-year-old’s impressive 30 goal return in his debut season spearheaded United’s title campaign, won him the coveted Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award and saw him pick up the Premier League Golden Boot for the second year in a row.
“I still think about the penalty I missed. I was so lucky to have a chance to make that mistake right by scoring another two goals.” Robin van Persie
But in an interview with Nick Coppack for Inside United looking back at his top 20 moments from last season, Van Persie didn’t simply talk about his successes and highlighted just why his attitude has been lauded by staff at United.
Speaking about his hat-trick against Southampton, Van Persie said: “This was my first experience of United’s famous never-say-die attitude. It was a crazy match but we never gave up.
“I still think about the penalty I missed. I was so lucky to have a chance to make that mistake right by scoring another two goals.”
Most players would forget about a missed penalty if they recovered to score a hat-trick, the fans certainly forgave him, but not Van Persie. He is a perfectionist. He is an artist.
It’s great to see that sort of attitude coming from a striker who scored 30 goals in his debut season, someone who is always looking to improve, and it makes me think that Van Persie is going to be even better next year under Moyes.
He suffered from a ten game lapse midway through the run-in where he couldn’t find the back of the net but his class showed through at the end with a late spurt of goals including his hat-trick that sealed the title against Aston Villa. Form is temporary, class is permanent and Van Persie has that in bundles.
Here are a few more extracts from Coppack’s in-depth interview with Van Persie from Inside United:
On his volley against Aston Villa…
“It was instinct. I looked up and thought: ‘This ball is so nice, it’s too beautiful to take a touch. The whole season the fans have been unbelievable from my very first match at Old Trafford.”
On winning his first Premier League title…
“I have to say that winning a trophy is fantastic. It’s great but the road to the trophy is maybe even nicer. Being together every day and working on details, getting better step-by-step, beating opponents and then at the end of all that is the result and the trophy.”
On next season under David Moyes…
“It’s been an honour and I’m still thrilled about what’s happened in the last 10 months or so,” he concludes. “Hopefully we can do even better, crack on and win even more trophies.”
The full Van Persie interview with Coppack will be available in July’s edition of Inside United, so be sure to grab yourself a copy ahead of what is going to be an incredibly busy summer that will see United travel over 24,500 miles on the 2013 pre-season tour.