Former Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie has announced that he’s planning on hanging up his boots at the end of this season. The current Feyenoord striker spent three seasons at Old Trafford, and though it wasn’t a long stay he certainly made his mark in Manchester.
Here are a few of his best goals for United, ranked by staff writer Colin M. Damms.
Honorable Mention: The Flying Dutchman (Netherlands vs. Spain, 2014 World Cup)
I love this goal too much not to include it. Though the goal wasn’t scored for Manchester United, it was scored while RVP was still a Manchester United player.
Robin Van Persie pounced on a special cross by soon to be United player Daley Blind just before halftime to bring the Netherlands level with Spain in a match that they would soon dominate in the second half. To cap it all off to perfection Van Persie celebrated by sprinting to the sideline for a crisp high five from his new United manager and current Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal.
5. Old Trafford Debut (Manchester United vs. Fulham, 2012/13 Premier League)
What a way to open your account at Manchester United. The first of many for Robin Van Persie in Red, and it seemed that he would have trouble topping this goal (he didn’t).
In a follow up to a difficult loss at Goodison Park on opening weekend, United found themselves behind early at home against Fulham. Van Persie, in his first start for the club, answered beautifully, and brought United back into the match. They would go on to win 3-2 and get their title challenge going with an important 3 points.
4. New Era, Same Van Persie (Manchester United vs. Swansea City, 2013/14 Premier League)
The first game of the new campaign under a new manager. David Moyes’ Manchester United career wouldn’t last longer than the 2013/14 season, but it sure started off with a bang thanks to another memorable Van Persie performance. After scoring twice in the Community Shield match RVP bagged another brace in a 4-1 win over Swansea City.
The first goal took the cake. Van Persie, surrounded by three defenders, chested down a lovely lofted pass from Ryan Giggs and sent it into the back of the Swansea net before anyone realized what had happened. It’s a goal that perfectly displays the striker’s elite vision for goal, pitch awareness, and technical ability.
3. Silenced Guns (Manchester United vs. Arsenal, 2013/14 Premier League)
It was an unspectacular 2013/14 campaign for Manchester United, but there were some truly spectacular goals, namely from Van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
This goal is the only header on the list, but it was a powerful goal that lifted Old Trafford after several difficult matches. Van Perise secured an important win against a title challenger in a season where Manchester United suffered dreadful losses home and away against rivals Liverpool and City. The celebration against a club he played at for such a long time just shows how much both he and the club needed this win.
2. Derby Debut (Manchester United vs. Manchester City, 2012/13 Premier League)
This was the first of two goals in the 2012/13 campaign to secure Robin Van Persie’s legacy at Old Trafford.
Manchester United traveled across town to the Etihad for a vital derby clash with the noisy neighbours. Wayne Rooney scored a first half brace to give United a 2-0 lead, but City clawed their way back through Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta late in the second half. With a draw appearing to be the result United won a free kick in the final minutes. Van Persie curled a strike around the wall (with the aid of a Samir Nasri deflection) and into the far left corner of Joe Hart’s net to score a dramatic last minute winner. United pulled away from City and never looked back as they charged toward a 20th Premier League title.
1. Golazo (Manchester United vs. Aston Villa, 2012/13 Premier League)
Perhaps Robin Van Persie’s most defining quality is his ability to make impossible goals look so elegant. His trademark runs in behind to pounce on a long ball made him a constant threat, and none of his goals show that more than this one.
10 points clear of City and only needing 3 more to reclaim the crown, a doomed Aston Villa side made their way to Old Trafford to try and delay the celebrations. Alas, their efforts were all for naught. Robin Van Persie scored a hat trick to secure United’s 20th Premier League title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s farewell season.
United won the ball back in their own half and set out on a counterattack. Wayne Rooney received the ball, spotted his striking partner streaking, and, without hesitation, sent a beautiful lofted pass his way. There was every chance the pass would be better than the shot, but not a chance with Van Persie. His specialty is volleying, and he volleyed an absolute golazo past a helpless Brad Guzan.
One of the most spectacular goals you’ll ever see, and fit to win any trophy.