Born in Rotterdam, he really made his mark at local side Feyenoord and was chased by some of England's top clubs after a couple of seasons impressing on the left wing. Despite rumoured interest from Tottenham, Arsenal snapped him up for £2.75million in 2004 and he soon proved value for money.
After overcoming injury problems, he became the main man at Arsenal, playing centrally and becoming a major influence on the Gunners' play. Taking over the captaincy, he was the driving force for Arsene Wenger's side and was one of the best players of 2011/2012, with many pundits arguing he dragged the North Londoners into the top three by leading from the front.
Van Persie scored in both matches against United, albeit in defeat on each occasion, and confirmed his status as a world-class striker with a string of outstanding displays and match-winning contributions. A set-piece specialist who possesses a fearsome shot, he also shows an unselfish streak by providing a number of assists for his team-mates.
In terms of international football, he has played in six major international tournaments for Holland - three World Cups and three European Championships - and scored in all of them, helping his