Manchester United fans have recognised Robin van Persie’s wonderful first season by voting him the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year at the club’s end-of-season awards ceremony at Old Trafford.
The striker picked up the accolade after garnering 41.5 per cent of the combined votes on our seven language websites, to beat Michael Carrick (29 per cent) and David De Gea (11.5 per cent) into second and third place respectively.
"This was always the plan," he laughed. "I have to be fair - it’s beyond expectations. It made such an impact on me from day one, being involved with all the guys. The way they welcomed me made such an impact and, of course, to be able to work with Sir Alex and Mike [Phelan] and all the staff is more than a pleasure.
"I have to say that winning a trophy is fantastic. It’s great but the road to the whole trophy is maybe even nicer. Being together every day and working on details, getting better step-by-step, beating opponents and then the best feeling of all that is the result and the trophy.
"This whole year has been incredible. I have to thank all the boys, the staff and the fans, who since day one, have been unbelievable. It’s been an honour. It’s made such a big impact on me and I’m still thrilled about what’s happened in the last 10 months or so. Hopefully, we can do even better, crack on and win even more trophies."
When asked if the next aim is winning the Champions League, he replied: "I would love to. I think we showed we can compete with the best. If you look at the game against Real [Madrid], for example, everything was organised perfectly. Our game-plan was working. We were winning so it was a bit harsh how we lost that game but it’s part of football as well. If you want to be a winner, first you have to deal with disappointments. If you look at the whole club, it’s full of winners. Everyone knows how to win and everyone works hard to win and I love that."
Van Persie was keen to pay tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson as he will always cherish the one season he worked under the