Pierre van Hooijdonk has reignited his bitter feud with compatriot Robin van Persie by insisting that he doesn’t regret calling the Fenerbahce an “a***hole”.
The pair got into a war of words after Van Hooijdonk slammed Van Persie’s performances at the 2014 World Cup. The former Manchester United striker didn’t take too kindly to the criticism, suggesting his elder adversary should “stick to playing golf.”
Last year, Van Hooijdonk hit back by calling the 32-year-old an “a***hole” on Dutch TV.
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And it would appear that peace hasn’t yet been reached by two of the Netherlands’ most recognised strikers. In an interview with FourFourTwo, Van Hooijdink has explained his comments and admitted his view of Van Persie hasn’t changed.
The former Celtic and Feyenoord player certainly didn’t expect the situation to escalate when he claimed Van Persie should be dropped from the national team for a lack of commitment.
“It was in a certain context, although I did say it,” the 46-year-old admitted. “At the World Cup I was doing TV analysis and I thought he had a poor tournament; he scored a great goal against Spain, but he never played as well as he did when Manchester United became champions (in 2012-13).
“He presumably thought he’d had a great tournament and later did an interview where he slagged me off. I was asked about that, and of course I didn’t like what he said, so I said: ‘a***hole’.”
Van Persie scored four goals in the tournament in Brazil as the Netherlands finished third. He claimed Van Hooijdonk’s criticism was unwarranted after scoring in the 3-0 win over the hosts in the third-place play-off match.
“Van Hooijdonk needs to stop. He should stick to playing golf or do something else,” the former Arsenal man admitted. “I gave everything and I don't understand why Van Hooijdonk does this and gets a platform like this.
“I can take criticism but only when it's fair. It's not coming from a good heart. Maybe he's angry with me, you should ask him.”
But the striker would soon experience a couple of lows in an orange shirt, being replaced as national team captain last year and being a part of the team that failed to qualify for Euro 2016.
Van Hooijdonk continued: “I was just saying what I was thinking at that moment, but that hasn’t changed since. It probably says more about him than me.
“He was a fantastic talent at Feyenoord and he realised he was already one of the best players at 18, but that does not mean that you can behave like you have been the best player for several years.”