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Thank you Robin van Persie!

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League
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We would like to pay a tribute to Robin van Persie, as the Dutch striker played for the last time in his professional career on Sunday afternoon.

Robin van Persie’s illustrious career came to an end on Sunday, spending the last 18 months in his boyhood club Feyenoord.

It all started 18 years ago, when a 17-year old boy with a perfect combination of talent and passion for the beautiful game made his professional debut for his hometown club Feyenoord Rotterdam.

The youngster made 17 appearances in his first season as a professional, starting the 2002 UEFA Cup Final against Borussia Dortmund. He won his first trophy that night and was named the Dutch Football Talent of the Year for the 2001-02 campaign.

Arsene Wenger, who was the No.1 talent hunter back at the time, noticed something special in the young forward, signing him for only £2.75 million in May 2004.

Van Persie made his debut and won his first trophy in English football, in the 3–1 FA Community Shield victory over Manchester United on August 8. It was the start of glittering 11 years he spent in the Premier League, breaking quite a few records.

The Dutchman managed to find the net in nine consecutive away league matches in 2011, becoming the first player in English football to do so. He scored against 17 of league’s 20 teams in the next season, jointly sharing the record with Arsenal great Ian Wright and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ruthless in front of goal as he was, Robin van Persie bows out of football as the Premier League’s highest-scoring Dutchman with 144 goals from spells with Arsenal and Manchester United. He won the Premier League Golden Boot twice, in 2012 and 2013, becoming the only player to win the award with two different clubs.

It is fair to say that Robin broke the Gunners’ hearts when he moved to Manchester United in the summer of 2012. He was the captain and the best player of Arsenal in the 2011-12 campaign, but the lack of ambition from the club made him join Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils.

His first season at Old Trafford was absolutely brilliant. He netted 30 goals across all competitions, winning the Premier League for Manchester United all by himself. It is the last title for the Red Devils, as the club is still recovering from Fergie’s retirement.

At an international level Robin van Persie is the all-time top scorer of the Dutch national team with 50 goals by his name. He represented his country at three World Cups, reaching the Final in 2010 – where they lost 1-0 to Spain, and winning the third place four years later.

Van Persie netted four goals in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, becoming the only player since 1966 to score with his left foot, right foot, and head, as well as scoring from a free kick and a penalty kick.

The Ronaldo.com team thanks Robin van Persie for sharing his football talent with us over the past 18 years and wishes him all the best in future!