VAN PERSIE: ENJOYMENT REAPS SUCCESS
Arsenal captain Robin van Persie has revealed the secret behind his goalscoring success which saw him named Professional Footballers Association Player of the Year on Sunday night.
The Holland striker said he takes to the pitch before every game and treats it as though it may be his last, so that he ensures he enjoys the match and plays attractive football.
"I think it is just looking at it from the basics and play every single game like it is your last," he told Press Association Sport.
"Enjoy it and do what you always do and then the goals might come, sometimes they don't but at least you're playing football the way people want to see it."
Van Persie was delighted to receive the prestigious personal accolade from compatriot Ruud Gullit, before revealing the former World Footballer of the Year had earlier advised him not to move to England.
"I can't believe it," he said.
"It is a massive dream to be standing here. Eight years ago I came from Holland. Ruud Gullit was actually on the phone asking me to stay at Feyenoord because he was becoming the new manager.
"I ended up at Arsenal, which was a dream come true, and I just can't believe that I'm standing here today."
The 28-year-old was appointed Arsenal's captain last summer but does not feel that has had an impact on his play, and with 27 league goals and counting that does appear to be the case.
He said: "It is just to the outside world that it (the captaincy) has been made official. But I have always been helping my team-mates out and I'm always doing my bit here and there.
"On the inside people see me still as the Robin of two or three years ago and I see them like a couple of years ago.
"I'm just honoured to be captain because Arsenal is a great club with a big history and with a massive fan base."
Meanwhile, Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker, who received the Young Player of the Year award, is hoping the prize can act as a springboard for even greater things.
"Yes, why not. I have had a mad couple of years so far in my football career so who knows what will happen around the corner now?" he said.
"I have an important end to the season with Tottenham, we have four massive games and we need to take maximum points from them to get into the Champions League but it has been a great season for me personally and hopefully there are many more years of this to come."
The England defender was also quick to thank his Spurs' team-mates as well as manager Harry Redknapp for giving him the chance to play consistently in his team.
"I try and get forward as much as I can to get into the limelight but it is a team game," he said.
"My team-mates have helped me out massively for this award and I owe it to them as well.
"He (Redknapp) gave me the opportunity to play this season, I have always wanted to break into the Tottenham side, so I have just got to say a big thanks to him for putting the belief in me really."
Both players also made it into the Premier League team of the year alongside Manchester City quartet Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Yaya Toure.
Walker's Tottenham colleagues Scott Parker and Gareth Bale were also included alongside Leighton Baines and Fabricio Coloccini of Everton and Newcastle, respectively, with Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney completing the XI.
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