Ex-Man Utd star Robin van Persie's reason for wanting Man City to win Champions League

Robin van Persie spent three seasons at Man Utd but has put those loyalties aside to back Man City in the Champions League final, where they...

Robin van Persie spent three seasons at Man Utd but has put those loyalties aside to back Man City in the Champions League final, where they face Chelsea on Saturday


Robin van Persie will put his Manchester United loyalties to one side on Saturday night – because he wants Pep Guardiola to win the Champions League.

Van Persie, the Dutch striker who was Sir Alex Ferguson's key signing when United took the Premier League title back off rivals City in 2013, believes Guardiola is playing the most entertaining brand of football in the world.

He feels the Catalan deserves to win his first European crown for a decade – and admits that the style employed by Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel leaves him cold in comparison.

Van Persie said: “While my football heart glows when I see Pep’s teams play, I don’t have any warmth when I see Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel.

The way they dealt with Real Madrid in the semi-final was great – so full respect to them.

“With and without the ball they were fantastic against Madrid.

Pep seems to be convinced that he needs a different style from the great Barcelona team he coached to win the Champions League.

“But he still delivers more entertaining football than all the other coaches in the world.

“What really amazes me is that he has been playing for a long time without a real striker.

“I have never seen that at any team before in my life!”

Van Persie, 37, is now helping develop youngsters in Feyenoord's academy after hanging up his shooting boots two years ago.

He feels Guardiola has changed his philosophy during his five years at the Etihad in a bid to replicate the success he has masterminded in the Premier League on the big European stage.

Van Persie said: “Pep has let go of his footballing ideal since last year.

“He used to have this super-attacking style, not giving even five yards of space to the opponent and putting them under pressure from the moment they take a goal-kick.

van Persie in action for Man Utd against Man City 

“But with the teams he has coached since Barcelona, it has gone wrong a few times at crucial moments in the Champions League.

“Pep is now counting on his star players constantly running into striking positions.

“I find it fascinating how his key players are executing this.

“(Phil) Foden, (Kevin) De Bruyne and (ilkay) Gundogan are fantastic.

“They start in midfield and drive into the spaces. This way they are constantly creating an extra man in most situations.

“Sometimes his team misses a target man - that is the downside of this system - but defensively they look more secure.”

Van Persie added: “You have to be half a machine to get a place in Tuchel’s team.

“You only have to look at the type of players he uses and the things he expects from them.

Tuchel wants stamina, an extreme amount of work and energy on the pitch, and his players must do everything he tells them.

“He is not a defensive coach - but it does have a high priority.

“It is a shame that the creativity of players like (Hakim) Ziyech, (Christian) Pulisic or (Mateo) Kovacic are not used to the full.”

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GistLobby⚽: Ex-Man Utd star Robin van Persie's reason for wanting Man City to win Champions League
Ex-Man Utd star Robin van Persie's reason for wanting Man City to win Champions League
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