Robin van Persie has explained why he picked a rather unconventional shirt number for a striker when he joined Manchester United back in 2012.
Van Persie was expected to take the No.9 shirt that would soon be vacated by Dimitar Berbatov but the Dutchman went for No.20 and has now explained the reasoning behind his decision.
“I think it is part of a story,” Van Persie told BT Sport.
“For example, my number at Manchester United is part of a story which we wanted to happen because just after I signed I had the option to go for No.20 or No.21 and United had 19 league titles.
“So I spoke to Rene Meulensteen and he said ‘there is only one shirt you should take, No.20, because we’re going for the league title”.
Van Persie, 31, arrived at United and instantly won the hearts of supporters all around Old Trafford when he guided the club to their 20th league title, following on from what Meulensteen had said to the striker after he joined the club.
Speaking at length to BT Sport, Van Persie added that he had several opportunities to switch to the famous No.9 shirt but decided to stick with No.20.
“Although I had the option to go for No.9 in the past two years I decided to stick with No.20 because it is a beautiful story and hopefully we can extend it to 21.
“I was actually thinking about it but I think it is best for the fans as well as they’ve bought the shirts, so I think I’ll stick to No.20”
Given Louis van Gaal‘s decision to switch James Wilson‘s number from No.47 to No.49 simply because he wanted his striker’s to have a No.9 on the their shirt, it’s easy to imagine one of those offers came in the summer when the new boss arrived at Old Trafford.