Robin van Persie is a Dutch professional footballer who plies his trade for Turkish top-division club Fenerbahce and the Netherlands national team.
The 33-year-old started his youth career with local side SBV Excelsior when he was just five years old. Nine years later at the age of 16, van Persie left to join Feyenoord after falling out with the coaching staff of his previous side.
In his first season at Feyenoord, van Persie was soon drafted into first team action because of a number of injuries in the side. He made his league debut in the Eredivisie at the age of 17 and went on to make a total of 15 starts in his debut season at the club.
After being the stand-out player for his side as Feyenoord won the UEFA Cup in 2001-02, van Persie was adjudged to be the Best Young Talent in the Dutch game by the KNVB.
However, his final two seasons at Feyenoord were marred by disciplinary issues as van Persie clashed with manager Bert van Marwijk. After scoring eight goals in 28 appearances in 2002-03, van Persie scored six goals for Feyenoord in 2003-04 as clashes with the manager continued.
Following unsuccessful negotiations with Arsenal in the January transfer window, he was sold to Arsenal in the summer of 2004 for 2.75 million GBP. Arsenal were looking for a long-term successor to fellow Dutch forward Denis Bergkamp.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger planned on converting van Persie from a winger to a centre forward as he had done with Thierry Henry. Van Persie’s first of two trophies with The Gunners came in his debut match for Arsenal as he featured in a 3-1 win over Manchester United in the Community Shield clash. His second trophy came at the end of the season when Arsenal won the FA Cup.
His full competitive debut for Arsenal came in a League Cup clash against Manchester City that saw his score the opening goal in a 2-1 win over the Citizens. Van Persie’s career started to show encouraging signs following Henry’s transfer to Barcelona. He finished as Arsenal’s leading scorer with 20 goals in all competitions in the 2008-09 season.
After an injury ravaged 2009-10 season during which he signed a new long-term contract with the Gunners, van Persie took the number 10 shirt at the start of the 2010-11 season.
Despite scoring his first league goal on January 1, van Persie scored 18 league goals in the remainder of the season. His goal in the 2-1 win against FC Barcelona in the Champions League endeared van Persie to the fans.
The following season proved to be his most productive season on an individual level as he scored 37 goals in 48 appearances for the Gunners, winning the Premier League Golden Boot for the top-scorer in the process.