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Claim to Fame
Robin van Persie (born 6 August 1983) is a Dutch footballer who plays as a striker for Manchester United and is the captain of the Netherlands national team. He is a youth product of Feyenoord. Having joined Arsenal in 2004, Van Persie became the club captain on 16 August 2011, one year before he joined rivals Manchester United. He is recognised as one of the best strikers in the world. His playing style and ability have drawn comparison to Dutch legend Marco van Basten.
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(born August 6, 1983) is a Dutch footballer who plays for English Premier League team Arsenal and the Dutch national team. Born in Rotterdam to artistic parents, Van Persie was encouraged to become an artist, but instead preferred football, joining SBV Excelsior`s youth squad in 2001. He left to join Feyenoord, where he made his breakthrough and spent three years of his career, and won a 2002 UEFA Cup winners` medal. In 2004, he moved to England, signing for Arsenal for £3 million, under the management of Arsène Wenger. He immediately won the FA Community Shield, and the following summer won the FA Cup with Arsenal.
Van Persie has also been capped by the Netherlands national side on 32 occasions, scoring ten goals. He has represented his country at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and 2008 European Championships.
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. He has two sisters, Lilly and Kiki. He was frequently encouraged to become involved in the arts like his parents, but he gravitated toward football instead.
 Club career
 Early career
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. 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 was awarded 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, but clashes with manager Bert van Marwijk saw van Persie demoted to the reserve squad. During a 2003 match featuring the Feyenoord and Ajax reserves, he was one of several Feyenoord players assaulted by hooligans who had invaded the pitch. He finished the season with the first team, making a total of twenty-eight appearances and scoring eight goals, in addition to finishing as runner-up in the Dutch Cup. However, van Persie was sent home on the eve of the 2003 UEFA Super Cup final against Real Madrid by van Marwijk, who was reportedly displeased with van Persie`s body language after being asked to warm up for a recent league game.
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 in 2003–04, 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. Arsenal F.C. made a move to sign van Persie during the January 2004 transfer window, but both parties could not agree to terms. Five months later, a deal was finalized.
On May 17, 2004, Van Persie moved to Arsenal for a fee believed to be in the range of £3 million. He signed a deal which would keep him at The Gunners for four years. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger said of Van Persie, "He can play on the left side of midfield, as a creative player behind the main strikers or as a target man". He was also touted by many as a long-term replacement of Dennis Bergkamp. Arsenal had recently signed another young forward, in the way of Spanish striker José Antonio Reyes, which led to hot competition for places. Despite this, the young Dutchman immediately made his debut as a substitute for the team in the 3–1 FA Community Shield victory over Manchester United on August 8, 2004.
Van Persie spent most of his time on the bench during earlier parts of the 2004–05 season, though quickly he earned his competitive debut against Manchester City in the League Cup. On October 27, he scored Arsenal`s opening goal in the game to secure a 2–1 win. After a run in the first team, February saw his season take a turn for the worse, as he was sent off against Southampton which consequently cost Arsenal two points, and caused Wenger to display uncharacteristic anger in public with a player. It looked as if Van Persie had cemented his place on the bench. However, Van Persie redoubled his efforts in training during his subsequent suspension, and was reintroduced in to the team when injuries to Thierry Henry forced Wenger`s hand. His return to the first team saw him score numerous goals, including two important goals in the FA Cup semi-final against Blackburn Rovers to secure victory for Arsenal. He also scored the vital breakthrough goal against West Bromwich Albion to help Arsenal secure second place in the Premiership after the Albion defence had proved difficult to break down. Continuing to enjoy good form, his season was interrupted again as he suffered an injury. Despite this, he managed to score 10 goals in 40 appearances in his first season with Arsenal.
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