Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie has revealed how he learned a lot from past greats at the club when he joined as a youngster.
The Dutchman, who moved to north London from Feyenoord in 2004, got the chance to play alongside legends like Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires and Thierry Henry. It's an experience that has stuck with the 27-year-old ever since.
Van Persie admits it was a 'dream' to be involved with such players during his early stages at Highbury, and being part of the historic 'invincibles' side that went an entire Premier League season undefeated.
"It was a dream coming true for me to play with Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, [Robert] Pires, [Patrick] Vieira," the striker told Arsenal TV online.
"I loved it, I loved every single training session, every single game, even if the boss gave me two minutes as Dennis Bergkamp's substitute. I was still proud to come on for Dennis Bergkamp and play for Arsenal, I was really proud to wear that shirt."
"That’s where everything started for me, I was so convinced about myself and the faith the boss had in me that we were working together on this."
Reflecting on what set that Gunners' side apart, Van Persie was quick to highlight the attitude of the players in training and the respect given to football as a whole.
Questions have been raised over the temperament of the current Arsenal side and if Arsene Wenger can again get the club to challenge for trophies, and reverting to the old philosophies could be the key for the Emirates outfit.
"The most important things with [big players] is the way they trained and played. For me it was really important, just to look at them sometimes," he continued.
"Words are not as strong as actions and their actions were so strong, giving 100%, treating football with the highest amount of respect. That was the biggest lesson for me overall, just being around, being surrounded by them."
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