World Cup news

RVP blames media shunning on Arsenal

June 14, 2013
By ESPN staff

Newly-appointed Netherlands captain Robin van Persie has claimed that he was forced by former club Arsenal to ignore the media during Euro 2012.

Robin van Persie (c) is mobbed after scoring from the penalty spot
GettyImagesRobin van Persie is the Netherlands captain

Van Persie, 29, who replaced Wesley Sneijder as the Oranje skipper earlier this week, was criticised for staying silent during last summer's tournament.

The Manchester United striker, however, insists it was a decision made by the Gunners as, at the time, he was on the verge of completing a move to Old Trafford.

"That was a wish of my club Arsenal and that had everything to do with the sensitivity of my proposed transfer to Manchester United," he told Sky Sports.

"I didn't estimate the outcome really at the time. Maybe I was too naive. To be the only one to not talk, I became a mythical figure and the outside world thought I was placing myself out of the group."

Van Persie was filmed talking on the phone after Netherlands' 1-0 defeat to Denmark, fuelling further speculation that he had drifted apart from the rest of the dressing room.

The former Feyenoord man, though, says he was simply making a call to his family back home.

"And when I was calling on the pitch after the game against Denmark, that was the evidence," he said. "Nonsense, that had nothing to do with it. I just wanted to call my wife and children. I do that after every game.

"Only I had no phone range outside, therefore I walked on the outskirts of the fields. Unluckily I was logged by a camera.

"If I had to do it all over again, I don't know if I would do it the same way. I don't think so to be honest."