Robin van Persie hits back at Holland critics

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Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has hit back at critics who say he doesn't deserve the Netherlands captaincy, claiming his relationship with Louis van Gaal gave him an unfair advantage. (Daily Star)

The Red Devils boss appointed Van Persie as skipper during his time as national team coach, and the 32-year-old has retained the armband under the new stewardship of Guus Hiddink.

Detractors have suggested that the talisman is not the right man for the job, having singled Van Persie out for criticism during Holland's disappointing start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

With two defeats from their opening three games in Group A, the World Cup semi-finalists are currently six points off the pace behind Iceland and the Czech Republic.

However, Van Persie remains confident that they'll book their place in the tournament, having shown no signs of stepping down from his role as captain.

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"I have the feeling I'm in the middle of the group," he said. "The critics don't hurt me, because I get appreciated by people who can really judge.

"I receive the appreciation and feel it every day. The Netherlands is a country with a lot of opinions. Those get harder and harder, increasingly ruthless. That's a trend. I have to deal with it.

"Everyone can have his opinion. That's the world we live in. I was chosen by Louis van Gaal on the basis of who I am and what I did and am doing. I don't see why I should change."

The £250,000-a-week star has also received additional criticism for his performances at club level, with some Red Devils supporters suggesting that Van Persie should be dropped from the Old Trafford first-team, but Van Gaal has kept faith in him.

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Joining from FC Porto for a fee of around £20 million in 2007, the 26-year-old arrived with a glowing reputation, but has failed to make the grade having made just five first-team appearances for the Red Devils over the past two seasons.

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Gareth Bale's agent has rubbished rumours of a possible swap deal with Angel Di Maria, pouring cold water on speculation linking Real Madrid's Welsh winger with a move to Manchester United. (The Mirror)

It was reported over the weekend that Carlo Ancelotti wanted to bring the Red Devils playmaker back to the Bernabeu, which in turn could pave way for Bale's possible switch to Old Trafford.

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Manchester United
Robin Van Persie
Premier League
Louis van Gaal

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