Robin van Persie was once an Arsenal legend. The Dutchman spent eight years with the Gunners, and became the club captain in 2011. In 2012, he switched allegiances and joined Manchester United, where he would go on to become a Premier League champion for the first time in his career. 

Hard to argue that he made the wrong decision in leaving the Emirates Stadium, then. 

Van Persie enjoyed great success under Sir Alex Ferguson during his time at Old Trafford, and during an interview with ​So Foot, the Netherlands' top scorer spoke openly about his decision to join Man Utd, the Ferguson effect and much more. 

90min has picked out the best bits just for you. 

Why He Chose Man Utd 

Robin van Persie

"I had two other options, ​Juventus and ​Manchester City. At this point, you begin a period of reflection; you weigh up the pros and cons and the positives and negatives of each choice. 

"But I had always had positive feelings towards Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United. If you look at this team at the time, you see players like Vidić, Ferdinand, Scholes, Giggs, Carrick... real winners, experienced players."

'The Bosses' of the Man Utd Team


"What was nice for me when I arrived at ​Manchester United, was that at ​Arsenal I was one of the oldest, I had a lot of responsibilities beyond my performance. 

"But when I joined this Manchester United team in 2012, I was not one of the most experienced, I did not have as many responsibilities, so I could focus on my game, my performances. 

"In each team, there is a hierarchy. In Manchester it was clear, the bosses were Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, Nemanja Vidić, Rio Ferdinand... These five were the bosses of the team. 

"Everything that happened off the pitch, they were the ones who monitored it."

Most Impressive Player?


"It's hard to answer, because most of them were impressive in their particular ways, in their own style. 

"Vidić was a warrior, he put his head where normally it's scary to set foot. He did anything to win. Ferdinand was more "elegant", comfortable with the ball, strong in aerial play, good in long play. 

"Giggs was the flamboyant player, always giving the impression of being in his comfort zone. And still in great shape at 39! He did yoga, lived football all the time. Impressive in its own way too. 

"Wayne Rooney, impressive in his own style too, the guy was always fully committed, in impact, to put on pressure. Patrice Évra was impressive through his habit of speaking out, to provoke and instil confidence in the team."

Sitting on the fence a bit there, Robin. 

Discipline Under Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson

"Coach Ferguson knew when to act, when for example, to emphasise discipline. 

"In my first season, we were 15 points ahead in the league, and we took on Manchester City to win the title. If we won this match, we would have been 18 points ahead, but we lost. This still left us 12 points ahead, and most managers would not have dramatised the situation. 

"The boss on the other hand, was furious. Two guys from the team went on a night out after this loss. The day after the match, he had pictures of the two players posted on the changing room walls during their night out. 

"And he said to the whole team, 'Ok guys, if we don't win the championship, know that it's because of those two assholes that chose to go out. From now on, if I see a player go out before the trophy is lifted, that player is out of the team. 

'''I don't care who you are, how many trophies you've won so far. If you go out before the end of the season, you're out of the team and I'll sell you'."

Ferguson's Retirement 

Sir Alex Ferguson

How did it feel when Ferguson retired?

"A great void (when Ferguson retired). 

"Even Ryan Giggs didn't know he was going to stop. Neither Scholes nor Ferdinand, even if they had worked for him for so many years, they had not seen it coming. 

"Just before signing, I asked him, 'What are your plans? How many more years are you staying on for?' 

"He told me that he planned to stay on for at least three more years. For me, it was therefore a great disappointment, because I had signed for Manchester United for him."

Scoring at Old Trafford

Robin van Persie

"It is an extraordinary feeling. I had a strong relationship with the supporters, they sang my name when I scored. They will give to you, but you too must keep your 'promise', score or at least do everything you can to do so. 

"This connection has always given me extra strength, especially in big games against Liverpool or in the Champions League. 70,000 people in a stadium that sings your name is a fantastic feeling."