Rio Ferdinand has paid tribute to Robin van Persie after the striker left Manchester United to join Fenerbahce.
The Dutch striker joined the Red Devils from Arsenal back in 2012, and quickly became a hit at Old Trafford the following year after his goals helped the club regain the title.
However, that season would be his only one under Sir Alex Ferguson, as the Scot announced his retirement. David Moyes would replace the Manchester United legend at the helm, but his stint in charge did not bring more success.
BECOME A WRITER
Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay3
Posting on his Facebook page, Ferdinand has revealed that Van Persie took Fergie's decision hardest out of everyone in the squad. The manager has played a pivotal role in securing the Dutchman's signature, and his decision to call time on his career caught the forward cold.
"It looks like my former team-mate Robin van Persie is joining Fenerbahçe. The moment Sir Alex Ferguson told us in the changing room at Carrington that he was retiring, I looked to my left around six lockers where I saw a totally devastating looking RVP... he was shaking his head in shock, completely disheartened it seemed. Robin took it the worst out of the whole squad," Ferdinand posted on social media.
"I, like many of the squad had been lucky enough to have played under Fergie for many years but Robin had just got to the club and part of his fairy-tale of joining was playing under Sir Alex. We would travel to games together and he would talk about him and how he compared or was different to Wenger and ask loads of questions about the great man.
"He had found a place and a manager that completely got RVP - Ferguson knew RVP 's goals would get us the title back and so throughout the first six months of the season he was drilling it home to the other players to get the ball into him or else! Imagine the confidence that would have been running through his veins after hearing his boss talk like that to a team he respected - about HIM and HIS importance to winning! And yes we went on to win the league that year and a large part of that was RVP's goals that got us there!"
Ferdinand went on to claim that Van Persie was a better player than he'd imagined after arriving at Manchester United, with the 31-year-old's arrival somewhat of a coup for the club given that he joined from a Premier League rival.
The centre back also highlighted two goals that last long in the memory of the former defender, with the volley against Aston Villa and last-minute winner at Manchester City also fondly remembered by the supporters.
He also described Nani's time at Manchester United as a success in his closing statement, crediting the duo for their part in the club's recent successes as they continue their careers at the same club in Turkey. Time will tell as to whether manager Louis van Gaal has made the right decisions with these particular exits.
"As a player he is so silky to watch, great touch, can hold the ball up & bring others into play, timings of his runs, skills & a dream of a left foot....oh and he can finish! He was actually a better player than I thought he was when he arrived at Manchester United - I had played against him many times vs Arsenal, so I knew he was good but not this good," he concluded.
"The goal against Aston Villa will forever be remembered by Manchester United fans - the ball from Wayne Rooney....then the volley....oooofff stop it!!! Don’t get me started on the last minute winner away at Manchester City!!
"Two players have left Manchester United this week for Fenerbahce – they both leave being a large part of the clubs recent success. Considering the prices being paid elsewhere, the club will deem both signings as a success. Good luck Van Pizzle!!"
The former Feyenoord starlet will hope to make an immediate impact in Turkey alongside Nani, whilst Louis van Gaal has wasted little time in reshuffling his Manchester United squad with the arrivals of Matteo Darmian and Bastian Schweinsteiger. They join Memphis Depay in a squad that could yet welcome more players in the coming weeks.
Ferdinand, meanwhile, retired from football after a disappointing campaign with QPR that ended in relegation from the Premier League. He remains a Manchester United legend though after winning six titles and a Champions League during 12 years at Old Trafford.