Robin van Persie Reveals The Talk He Had With "Ruthless" Louis van Gaal That Led To Manchester United Exit
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Robin van Persie recalls leaving Manchester United as he explains the "ruthless" ways of then-manager Louis van Gaal.
Van Persie won the Premier League title in his debut season at Old Trafford following his high-profile transfer from Arsenal in 2012.
But his time at United turned sour when Sir Alex Ferguson departed. David Moyes replaced the legendary Scot with the Dutchman enduring a rough campaign.
And things didn't get better when Van Gaal was appointed. The former Netherlands coach actually sent Van Persie packing to Fenerbahce even though the star striker had a year left on his contract.
"I had this chat with Louis van Gaal and he told me: 'Ok Robin, our ways will part. I'm the coach, you're the player - you have to go, your time is up,'" Van Persie explained to the High Performance Podcast.
"I was like: 'Yeah but I still have a contract?' He said: 'I don't care.'
"Ruthless. Towards the end of it, I saw something coming but not this ruthless. And the way he said it as well. And then, like a lot of things go through your mind when you get a message like that.
"I still had a contract, my family was happy, it was my 11th year in England. We love living in England. What's next?"
He added: "My kids are going to school, they have their friends and everything. So in like a split second, all these things come across [your mind]. How do you react to that?
"I said: 'We will see what happens. That's your opinion. But I have a contract and I'm happy in England at Manchester United. So we will see what happens.' And I stood up, shook his hand and left it."
Van Persie continued by saying that his omission from the 22 players taking part in a training match made him realise his time was over.
"On the way home back I was thinking: 'Okay, this is tough. How do you react to a message like that?'
"That ruthless, that hard, that direct. And then loads of things came through my mind and we started pre-season. I wasn't allowed to play in the 11 vs 11 and I was given a ball and told to do my own stuff.
"So you try to stay calm, stay cool but there's loads of things happening. You're playing the macho card. 'It doesn't affect me' but it does. It does affect me, my family and my career. Big time.
"But I tried to stay cool, but maybe at that point it was good for me to talk to someone outside of my inner circle but I was too stubborn to do that.
"Now if I look back at it, there was a couple of points in my career where I should have done that."