Former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has revealed his performance in Vincent Kompany’s testimonial match made him reconsider his retirement from football.
van Persie boasts an impressive record in the Premier League for a player who arrived in England at the tender age of 21. After netting 144 goals in 280 appearances in England’s top tier, he departed United for Fenerbahce in the summer of 2015.
Though he made the bulk of his appearances at Arsenal, he will likely be more fondly remembered by United fans – with the switch from North London to Manchester leaving him vilified by the Gunners faithful.
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No fan of any club could deny what a world-class striker he was in his prime, though. In May 2019, he played his final competitive match, but RvP has now revealed that he could have made a swift comeback to the game.
van Persie is quoted by Dutch outlet De Telegraaf revealing that he felt so good during Vincent Kompany’s testimonial match the September after his retirement that he almost made a sensational U-turn to return to football:
“A few months after my farewell at Feyenoord, I played Vincent Kompany’s farewell game in Manchester. There I played with Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, and it went really well. Everything on the right foot, those guys just get it. I took part in the entire match and scored a nice goal.”
“And that resulted in a call from Kompany the next morning. Vincent said he thought I played well, and I had a good feeling about it myself. I had cramps all over, but it felt good. Back then, it took a few hours in my head.”
“In the end it did not come to that. I discussed it at home with my wife and she thought I shouldn’t want it anymore. But of course she left me free to choose. The day after, so the second day after the game, it didn’t feel so good in my body when I woke up. Then I decided not to do it.”
Kompany held the testimonial match at the Etihad on September 11th of last year following his departure from Manchester City after more than a decade. The match was made up of a City XI, as well as a Premier League All-Stars XI – which van Persie was included in.
It must be difficult, especially for a player of his calibre, to be honest with themselves and admit that they no longer have enough in the tank to continue playing.
The all-time top scorer for the Dutch national team is missed by the beautiful game, as any player of his calibre would be. There comes a point, though, where it’s time to hang up the boots.