By 90Min
May 18, 2018

Former Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has named the 'hardest match in the whole world.'

Maybe a trip to Spain to face Real Madrid or Barcelona, or perhaps even a game against Bayern Munich or Manchester City?

Nah. The toughest game in world football is...Stoke City. Away. On a wet Tuesday night, probably.

Jamie McDonald/GettyImages

The old cliché has rung true with Van Persie, as he told Voetbal International: "Stoke City, with the wind that raced through the stadium. I always stood there on the pitch and it was always a battle. 

"Stoke City was the hardest match in the whole world. Actually, such duels are overpowering on yourself, until you fall from the edge."

The Dutchman, now plying his trade with Feyenoord, also defended his decision to play on for one more season, despite being in constant pain.

DENNIS WIELDERS/GettyImages

“I have been in pain for years, but pain comes in gradations," he said. "Top football is not without sacrifices. Playing for years in the Premier League is taking its toll. That is football in the highest level, so hard that I experienced the games in the Champions League as practice matches.

"If you suddenly got two or three meters to take a ball, you were not hacked. Well, that was impossible against Swansea City. Those kind of teams did not give me a meter.”

He continued: “I can see Bouchra’s (Van Persie’s wife) look. Every morning when I get up, she sees how I get out of bed: stumbling. Stiff, pain. She then has a look...Very awkward, but we never talk about it. She says: ‘Robin, it’s your decision, you have to know for yourself'."

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)