Robin van Persie (born 6 August 1983 in Rotterdam) is a Dutch footballer who plays for

English Premier League club Arsenal F.C. and the Dutch national team. 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 in 2001. He made his breakthrough at hometown club Feyenoord, where he spent three seasons and won the 2002 UEFA Cup. In 2004, he moved to England and signed with Arsenal, with whom he promptly won the FA Community Shield, and the FA Cup.
Van Persie has 32 caps and ten goals with the Netherlands, and participated in the 2006 FIFA World Cup and 2008 UEFA European Championships.
Contents
[hide]
• 1 Biography
• 2 Club career
o 2.1 Feyenoord
o 2.2 Arsenal
• 3 International career
o 3.1 2006 World Cup
o 3.2 Euro 2008
• 4 Personal life
o 4.1 2005 rape allegation
• 5 Career statistics
o 5.1 International goals
• 6 Honours
o 6.1 Feyenoord
o 6.2 Arsenal
o 6.3 Individual
• 7 References
• 8 External links

Biography
Robin van Persie was raised in the Kralingen section of east Rotterdam. His mother, José Ras, was a painter, and his father, Bob, a sculptor.[3] He has two sisters, Lilly and Kiki.[4] He was frequently encouraged to become involved in the arts like his parents, but he gravitated toward football instead.
Club career
Feyenoord
Van Persie joined Dutch side SBV Excelsior’s youth squad in 2001, but left due to conflicts with the coaching staff and signed for Feyenoord.[5] He was quickly promoted into the first team due to injury problems among the squad, and made his debut for the club at seventeen, which was the first of fifteen total starts. He received the KNVB Best Young Talent award at the end of the 2001–02 season.
He signed a professional three-and-a-half year deal with Feyenoord at the start of the next season, and scored five goals in a 6-1 Amstel Cup thrashing of AGOVV on February 6, 2003.[6] However, clashes with manager Bert van Marwijk saw van Persie demoted to the reserve squad, and an irate van Marwijk told reporters, “His behaviour made it impossible for him to remain in the squad any longer so he will join the reserve side for the time being.”[7] During a match featuring the Feyenoord and Ajax reserves, he was one of several Feyenoord players assaulted by hooligans who had invaded the pitch.[5] Van Persie’s rift with van Marwijk continued when he was sent home on the eve of the 2003 UEFA Super Cup final against Real Madrid after the coach was reportedly displeased with van Persie’s body language upon his being asked to warm up for a recent league game.[3] van Persie finished his tumultuous debut season on the first team, making a total of twenty-eight appearances and scoring eight goals, in addition to finishing runner-up in the KNVB Cup.
Feyenoord unsuccessfully attempted to extend van Persie’s contract during the offseason, and his deteriorating relationship with van Marwijk led to his spending most of 2003–04 on the bench. He again played 28 matches, but finished with two fewer goals than the previous season. Feyenoord shopped him at the end of the campaign but found few takers due to van Persie’s past disciplinary issues. During the January 2004 transfer window, the Eredivisie club opened negotiations with Arsenal, who were seeking a long-term replacement for aging veteran Dennis Bergkamp. Both parties could not agree to terms, and five months later, a deal was finalized and van Persie was sold to Arsenal for £2.75 million, just over half of Feyenoord’s original asking price of £5 million.
] Arsenal
On 17 May 2004, Van Persie signed a four-year deal with Arsenal. Manager Arsène Wenger, who planned to convert van Persie from a left winger to a center forward as he had successfully done with star player Thierry Henry,said of his new acquisition, “He can play on the left side of midfield, as a creative player behind the main strikers or as a target man.” Arsenal had further padded their stable of strikers by signing Spanish forward José Antonio Reyes,[12] leaving the two to battle for playing time, but Van Persie was the first to make his team debut, and win a trophy in the process, as he came on as a substitute in the 3–1 FA Community Shield victory over Manchester United on 8 August 2004.[13]

Van Persie with Thierry Henry
Van Persie spent most of his time on the bench during earlier parts of the 2004–05 season, and made his competitive debut on October 27, 2004 by scoring Arsenal’s opening goal in a 2-1 League Cup win over Manchester City F.C.. However, he was sent off for the first time in an Arsenal uniform on February 26, 2005 during a 1-1 road draw with Southampton, following a lunge at left back Graeme Le Saux, for which the mild-mannered Wenger was seen yelling an obscenity at van Persie on the sidelines. He then later lambasted his charge in the press. “I do not support Van Persie today, but he did not look out of control at half-time. When the referee has sent off a home player, he is under pressure, so, if any player had to behave, it was him.” Meanwhile, Telegraph sportswriter Clive White described van Persie in his match report as “21 going on nine.”Van Persie was consequently benched for a number of games, starting with Arsenal’s upcoming FA Cup replay against Sheffield United, and he was reintroduced into the squad only after Henry was out with a calf injury, and his return to the first team saw him score twice in a FA Cup semi-final win over Blackburn Rovers. Van Persie’s season was then cut short by injury, but he finished with ten goals in 40 appearances.

Van Persie against Chelsea in 2008
Van Persie’s ongoing form earned him the Player of the Month award for November after eight goals in eight starts, and he was rewarded with a five-year contract extension until 2011 on 4 January 2006. However, two days after signing the contract, van Persie was again wracked with injury after an opponent stepped on his foot and broke his toe during an FA Cup match against Cardiff. Van Persie played the next three matches with a hole cut into his shoe to alleviate the pain until he was finally rested for Arsenal’s Premiership match against West Ham United on February 1. He was an unused substitute in Arsenal’s first Champions League final appearance, a 2-1 loss to FC Barcelona.
The beginning of the 2006–07 season included an airborne volley against Charlton Athletic that Wenger called “the goal of a lifetime”[22][dead link] and was later named BBC’s Goal of the Month for September,[23] and he capped off the calendar year by being named the 2006 Rotterdam Sportsman of the Year. However, his season ended early for the second time in his career on January 21, 2007, when he fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot while celebrating his late equalizer in a match against Manchester United. He finished with a team-leading thirteen goals.[24]

Van Persie in an Arsenal training shirt
After Henry departed for Barcelona prior to the 2007–08 season, Van Persie assumed the role as Arsenal’s main striker. He got off to a good start by scoring the winning goal in Arsenal’s 2–1 preseason Emirates Cup victory over Internazionale, and doing likewise in a 1-0 Amsterdam Cup win over AFC Ajax. Following a streak of seven goals in ten regular-season games, van Persie was sidelined for two months with a knee injury suffered on international duty. He made his comeback in Arsenal’s Champions League group stage win over FC Steaua Bucharest on December 12, and returned to domestic first-team action against Wigan Athletic on March 9 as a second-half substitute. His first goal since his return was a penalty in a 3-2 win against Bolton Wanderers.
Van Persie opened his 2008-09 account on August 31 with a brace in Arsenal’s 3-0 league victory over Newcastle United. On 29 October, he scored his fiftieth career Arsenal goal in a 4–4 home draw with North London derby rivals Tottenham Hotspur, but was hit with his first red card of the season on November 1 after knocking down goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen with a shoulder charge in a 2-1 loss to Stoke City. Sorensen later admitted to “teasing” van Persie in an attempt to provoke a reaction.
International career

Van Persie (top) and Ruud van Nistelrooy in training prior to Euro 2008
Van Persie earned his first caps for the Netherlands in less than the span of a week, first in a 2-0 2006 World Cup qualifying win over Romania on June 4, 2005, and in another qualifier four days later against Finland, which saw him pick up his first international goal in a 4-0 victory.[31]
2006 World Cup
Despite not being a regular starter for Arsenal, Van Persie was part of coach Marco van Basten’s roster for the 2006 World Cup finals. He played in all four of the Netherlands’ matches and scored his only goal in the group stage against Côte d’Ivoire via a free kick as the Oranje were eliminated in the round of sixteen.
Euro 2008
Van Persie scored a team-best four Euro 2008 qualifying goals, and was deployed as a winger behind lone striker Ruud van Nistelrooy during the tournament after van Basten decided to change to a 4-2-3-1 formation. On June 13, he scored as a 55th-minute substitute in a 4–1 Group C victory over 2006 World Cup finalists France, and started the next match against Romania, scoring off a pass from Demy de Zeeuw. He finished with two goals as the Netherlands finished atop their group but again suffered a first knock-out round, second stage elimination.
Personal life
Van Persie and his Dutch-Moroccan wife Bouchra have one son, Shaqueel, who was born on 16 November 2006. They live in Goffs Oak, Hertfordshire.
2005 rape allegation
On 13 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 after former Miss Nigeria Holland Sandra Krijgsman claimed that he had attacked her two days earlier in a hotel. He spent two weeks in prison while the police investigated Krijgsman’s allegations, and was then released because it was deemed unnecessary by the courts to keep him detained, though he remained a suspect.
In February 2006, the case was completely dismissed by the Dutch Public Prosecution Service after they completed their investigations. The prosecution stated, after a thorough investigation, that no sexual contact with coercion happened. Van Persie publicly spoke of his imprisonment several months later, describing it as a degrading experience and claiming 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.[citation needed] An October 2005 report emerged that over two hundred Rotterdam police officers had attempted to view his case files, despite the vast majority of them being unauthorised to do so.

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