After a glittering career with Arsenal, Manchester United and Feyenoord, Robin van Persie will hang up his boots at the end of the season.
Former Arsenal and Manchester United forward Van Persie rejoined boyhood club Feyenoord in January and has enjoyed his return, but he is not planning on staying beyond the 2018-19 campaign.
The 35-year-old played his role in his side’s KNVB Cup triumph last term and will not prolong his career solely in pursuit of the Eredivisie title, insisting his second stint with Feyenoord is already a success as he has rediscovered his enjoyment of the game.
‘When should I stop? That is normally at the end of this season. That’s the approach,’ Van Persie said ahead of Sunday’s Klassieker against Ajax.
‘I will be 36 years old and will have been a professional for 18 years. From the age of five, I’ve only been involved in football. I also do not believe that my return to Feyenoord has only been successful if we win the title.
‘How is it successful? This is actually it, if you look at the whole picture. I had lost the fun. That’s not how I wanted to end, without pleasure. The fun has returned at Feyenoord.
‘I want to win as a football player and the cup win was nice, but that is not the measurement between whether [the return to Feyenoord] is successful or not.
‘I wanted to give something back, share my experiences. I am trying to help my fellow players.
‘I see it as broader than just winning a title or not. That is the goal – that is what the club also say – but whether or not we win a title is not decisive for me on whether my return is successful or not.’
Van Persie initially left Feyenoord in 2004 to join Arsenal, yet an FA Cup in his first season was the only major trophy the forward won in eight years in London.
Developing into one of the Premier League’s most prolific forwards, Van Persie departed for rivals United and fired the Old Trafford club to the Premier League title in Alex Ferguson’s final year in charge.
The Dutchman, who also had a short stint at Fenerbahce, starred on the international stage, too, as Netherlands reached the World Cup final in 2010 and the semi-finals four years later.