Robin van Persie has spoken of his pride at spending eight years with Arsenal.
The Fenerbahce striker was speaking ahead of his return to another former side, Manchester United, in the group stages of the Europa League on Thursday evening.
Van Persie received criticism from a large section of Arsenal fans following his controversial move to Old Trafford back in 2012, where he went on to win the Premier League title with the Red Devils.
While many supporters of the Gunners now look back on Van Persie’s time in north London with bitterness, the Netherlands forward remains immensely proud of his entire 11-year career in England.
‘I look back on my 11 years in England and I’m proud of those years – eight at Arsenal and three at Manchester United.
‘My kids were born in England so we still speak mainly in English to them. I had ups and downs here. I was practically raised here myself.
‘I came as a 20-year-old boy and left only last year. Lots of things happened in those years and I’m proud of my time here.
‘I like England a lot. I still do. I like English manners, the English way of living and I try to take all those positives into the way we live now.
‘So it’s not only the way I left or what went wrong or right – it’s the bigger picture for me.’