Would you say that football here is an art?
No. Football on the continent is more of an art, but it's more exciting in England.
That's surprising. You've always been identified as a lover of art; how does that square with your love of English football?
It's true, I am interested in art, but only in what gives me a buzz. I like art that's fast, buzzing, spontaneous. English football is more spontaneous than any football in the world.
You have an interest in poetry, and especially in the poetry of Rimbaud. You've even been compared to him…
I admire Rimbaud. But I also admire lots of other poets and artists. In particular Jim Morrison. Because of his spontaneity. Because of his sense of adventure. Because he was an avant-gardist.
Are you an avant-gardist in football?
No. You can't be an avant-gardist in football. It's a team game. A team can be avant-gardist; like Ajax at a certain stage.
Would you like to play in an avant-gardist team?
There are very few of them. The main thing is to play in a team that wins.
What is the greatest quality you bring to Manchester United?
I bring what I am. You all know what I am. That's what I bring to the club!
Do you ever doubt your ability as a player? Before a match, perhaps?
Everyone doubts. We all need to doubt. If you don't doubt you can't prepare yourself for what will happen. Being successful requires a lot of different ingredients – confidence is one of them. But doubt and fear are important too. You have to conquer your doubts, and so far I have been able to do so; but you still have to have doubts in the first place.
Could you ever have been a defender?
No. I'm an attacking player, it's in my nature. But I admire good defenders – when they're on my side!