Van Persie excelled in a prolific first season at Old Trafford and showed no signs of letting up with a fine start to the new campaign, scoring both goals in a 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic to clinch the Community Shield at Wembley. The following weekend he was at it again with another brace, including United’s first Barclays Premier League strike of the season, to help defeat Swansea 4-1.
At international level, three goals in two games from the striker against Estonia and Andorra helped the Netherlands book their place at the 2014 World Cup. He also continued to find the net regularly for the Reds, converting a penalty against Crystal Palace and adding an acrobatic volley against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League three days later.
After missing the Manchester derby through injury, van Persie ended a three-game goalless run with efforts in consecutive weeks against Southampton and Stoke. He also made history with the Netherlands, as his hat-trick against Hungary made him the country’s all-time record scorer. He was also top scorer of the UEFA section during World Cup qualifying, with 11 goals.