Van Persie ready to shine at finals
The 26-year-old Rotterdam-born Arsenal player started his career as a winger but after Thierry Henry left the London club Van Persie became a central striker, a role he also wanted in the national team and secured in the World Cup warm-ups.
With four goals in the last three matches, Van Persie made it an easy decision for coach Bert van Marwijk ahead of their first World Cup Group E game on Monday against Denmark but the striker realises playing in that role demands more discipline.
"I love to approach the ball and combine through the defence but the coach hammers (home) that one or two of us need to bring depth to the game every time we attack," he told reporters.
Van Marwijk is keen for players to make runs that create space behind the defence rather than just attacking with the ball but Van Persie is keen to try both approaches.
"I have to be aware of that but if I switch enough between both choices it makes me less predictable for defenders."
"But I want to fill in this role my way, I am stubborn in that. I am convinced that it will work out my way."
Next to scoring goals the striker wants to be generally indispensable for his team and not only during matches.
"At my club I also try to advise younger players as I see they make the same mistakes during the training or matches that I did in the past," he told Reuters.
"But never by shouting or anything like that, just by talking to them. Everyone needs to feel appreciated and that is something I missed during my younger years."
Besides his development as player, Van Persie has also changed as a person and is more mature than ever.
As a gifted youngster, he regularly clashed with then Feyenoord coach Van Marwijk but after moving to England in 2004, where he was an apprentice to Dutch great Dennis Bergkamp and Henry, he began to realise what was needed to reach the top.
"Both were strikers I looked up to and that also inspired me to develop in the personal sphere," he added. "I learned a lot from Bergkamp, not only in football but also in life."
"Football really became my profession and my whole life is organised to perform. In the past, I took it easier and had a bit of attitude. But now I approach it with my mind and heart. That has changed my life and I enjoy it every day."