Football Premier League

Robin van Persie Hails Stoke City Away As The ‘Hardest Match In The World’

Stoke City away – The ‘hardest match in the world’ according to ex-Premier League goal-machine Robin van Persie.

The Dutch striker played a large portion of his professional career in England’s top flight with Arsenal then Manchester United.


He bagged over 100 league goals, inspiring United to a Premier League title in his debut season at Old Trafford weighing in with 26 goals.

But van Persie is back in the Netherlands with Feyenoord.

Though the 34-year-old has reminisced about his time in England, while recalling some of the toughest teams to play against.

Swansea, Bolton and Sheffield United get an honourable mention, before ultimately picking Stoke City as the hardest of them all.

van Persie competing for the ball against Whelan. Image: PA

“I have been in pain for years, but pain comes in varying degrees,” he told Voetbal International.

“Top football is not without sacrifices. Playing for years in the Premier League is taking its toll.

“That is football in the highest gear, so bad that I experienced the matches in the Champions League as practice matches.

“If you suddenly got two or three metres to take a ball, you were not hacked. Well, that was impossible against the likes of Swansea, Bolton and Sheffield United. Those kind of teams did not give me a metre.”van Persie vs. Shawcross. Image: PA

A cold, rainy night in Stoke really is a battle. 

“Or Stoke City, with the wind that raced through the stadium. I always stood there in the basics and it was always a battle.

“Stoke of them all was the hardest match in the world. Actually, such duels are overpowering on yourself, until you fall from the edge,” van Persie added. 

Who would have thought it?!

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