Van Persie: 'I was in a bubble'
How would you react if you’d just scored one of the most famous hat-tricks in Manchester United history?
That was a feat Robin van Persie managed in 2013, when his first-half treble against Aston Villa – including an incredible volleyed effort from Wayne Rooney’s lofted pass – sealed a record 20th English league title for the Reds.
It’s a performance that ranks in the upper echelons of Old Trafford folklore and one United fans, whether they were in attendance that night or watching on television around the world, will never forget.
But the former Netherlands international was so absorbed in the goal of helping Sir Alex Ferguson’s men cross the line in the Premier League that it was only afterwards when he could really begin to understand the enormity of the moment he’d created.
“I was so in the zone, I was so focused,” Robin told UTD Podcast.
“Everyone was and we just wanted to get it done there.
“In that period, I wasn’t on social media so I didn’t really get what was going on around me. I was in this bubble, I was focused and I just wanted to win.
“Afterwards, a colleague showed me the volley and I was like ‘oh, nice one!’ We went to have dinner and then partied a bit. I didn’t realise it [was so big].
“Now, for example, if you score a nice goal you see it everywhere - on Instagram, Twitter, everywhere.
“So from my point of view, it was different because I wasn’t really involved in social media, I was just living in that moment so much and I was really enjoying the moment.
“It was a fantastic day to score a hat-trick and a perfect ending for that season.”
The result against the Villans, securing the title with four games still to go, capped off a fantastic debut campaign for Robin. The then 29-year-old won the Golden Boot for the second year in succession and hit 30 goals in all competitions.
A disappointing early exit in Europe, where Real Madrid beat us 3-2 in the Champions League round of 16, was a minor regret, but van Persie still looks back on the 2012/13 season with fondness, as he goes on to explain further in the podcast, which you can listen to in full now.
“I don’t think it could have gone better, except maybe in the Champions League.
“We went out to Real Madrid and we had chances in the home and away legs, so possibly it would be better if we went further there.
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“But no, if I’m honest, it was a dream first year.”