Robin van Persie discussed his final few days as a Manchester United player and took the chance to praise their executive vice chairman Ed Woodward.
The Dutch striker was unveiled at Fenerbahce's Sukru Saracoglu stadium after putting pen-to-paper on a £4.7 million transfer. While thousands of Turkish football fans welcomed Van Persie to the club, his exit from Old Trafford was less glamorous.
Reports have claimed that Van Persie was left with a feeling of betrayal after Louis van Gaal told him he no longer featured in his plans. But as the pair's relationship disintegrated, the strain became apparent.
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The Mirror claimed that the 31-year-old was singled out by the former Netherlands head coach and ordered to train on his own. It left Van Persie humiliated and with no doubt about his future; he was leaving.
Upon confirmation of his exit and his first press conference as a Fenerbahce player, many expected the striker to take a parting shot at his once close friend Van Gaal.
"I highly appreciate the work of Ed Woodward, the CEO of Manchester United"
Praise for the CEO
However, Van Persie instead chose to single out Woodward, who he praised for acting like a gentleman through what must have been a tiring and testing time for the 31-year-old and his family.
He told reporters: "I highly appreciate the work of Ed Woodward, the CEO of Manchester United. The way he dealt with this transfer is from a high level, it's very classy.
“He proved he's a true gentleman in the way he dealt with the whole situation. Ed, if you're listening, thank you."
Predicting the future
Since Van Gaal has joined Manchester United, almost £250m has been spent on transfer fees alone with almost a dozen established stars getting the chop to make way for new faces.
The business is the modern Manchester United is to chop and change when necessary and Van Persie admits he saw his own downfall on the horizon long before it arrived.
"It was a situation where I could see it coming, if I'm really honest," he said of his exit.
"I could get used to the idea for quite a bit. It was not a situation where it was just happening from day to day so I could get used to the situation – that is football.
"From my side, there are no hard feelings with how it went. It's part of football, it's part of life. I had a good moment with the players the day before I came to Istanbul so that was special. Then you see that everyone really appreciated my time there - that was important for me."
The wolf of Old Trafford
This video is hilarious and very much relevant to the story:
Van Persie finished his relationship with the Premier League by thanking both Arsenal and Manchester United fans for their support over the years.
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