Earlier this week, Robin van Persie announced that he will be extending his contract at Feyenoord to play on for another year.
However, now aged 34, it would appear that the former Arsenal and Manchester United striker had to think long and hard about putting his body through another season of pains and strains.
The subject came up during Van Persie’s recent interview with Voetbal International, in which the Dutchman also name-checked Stoke City away as the toughest fixture he ever faced during his long and vaunted career:
I’ve had pain, for years, but pain is to be expected at certain levels. Football at the highest level isn’t without sacrifices.
Playing in the Premier League for years takes its toll. That is football at the highest level, so bad that I experienced Champions League matches as friendlies. Suddenly you have two, three metres to control a ball, without being “chopped up”.
Well, against Swansea away, something like that was impossible. Those kind of teams didn’t allow me even a metre.
Or Stoke City, with the wind whistling through the stadium. I was always in the starting XI, and always it was a battle.
Stoke City away was the toughest match of the whole world. Games like that do you in fact more worse than good.
Turns out having Ryan Shawcross kick you up in there air for seven or eight years straight isn’t much fun after all.
Who’d have thunk it?