Manchester United Transfer News: Van Persie Believes He Has Become a Better Player Since His Move from Arsenal; Has Kind Words for Balotelli

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Feb 06, 2013 01:02 AM EST
Robin Van Persie Manchester United
Robin Van Persie celebrates after scoring the winner against Manchester City during their English Premier League game, December 9(Photo : Reuters) "

 

Manchester United forward Robin Van Persie believes he has become a much better player since sealing his move from Arsenal at the beginning of the season.

The Dutchman has been in irresistible form this year, heading the goalscoring charts in the English Premier League with 18, and guiding United to a nine-point lead at the top of the table.

Van Persie believes his move to Old Trafford has been the best thing that could have happened to him in his career.

"It's gone as well as I've expected it to go," Van Persie was quoted as saying by The Sun.

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"I go into work every day whistling -- as from the first day they've made me feel welcome.

"The boys made me feel right at home. Training is really good and I see things I've not seen in a long time. It is a very pleasant environment to work in.

"Every day I work on new things. I have become alert to small details that make me better."

Van Persie attributed much of his and the team's improvement to coach Rene Meulensteen.

"The way he trains is refreshing, he is truly one of the best coaches in the worldm," the 29-year-old said.

"I've had a lot of good trainers, but it's the way he prepares our team for games. Every match is different so every training session in build-up is unique.

"We know exactly what to expect. He wins points for us through his training. We've won a lot of games by the odd goal - they are point winners.

"Consider the game against Chelsea. I scored after a low cross from Antonio Valencia on the right.

"It might seem like a fluke, but the whole week before the game was spent working on that move.

"Another example is my goal against Wigan when I cut the ball inside and shot with my right foot - again this was a situation we trained on."

United are on the verge of a mouthwatering clash against Real Madrid in the Champions League and Van Persie is looking forward to the challenge.

"The match against Madrid is the icing on the cake for every footballer," Van Persie added. "It will be my first game at the Bernabeu - and I'm really looking forward to it.

"It will be a very nice challenge with the group of players we have.

"Manchester United are a big club and being in the last 16 is already beautiful even without the prospect of playing Real Madrid."

Balotelli praise

Van Persie might not be the first person one might expect to come out in praise of former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, but the Dutchman believes the Italian is a little misunderstood and also has the potential to be one of the world's best.

"I have always been a fan of Balotelli," Van Persie told NUsport. "He is quick, strong and is courageous. He has all the qualities a striker needs to succeed at the highest level.

"He really is a nice guy as well. We spoke to each other every now and then when he still played at Manchester City," van Persie revealed.

"You have people who initially look like nice guys, but turn out to be different in the end. Balotelli is the exact opposite. He might not look like a nice lad, but he definitely is."

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