The Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has spoken of his admiration for the way Barcelona play.
Robin van Persie has revealed that Arsenal want his five-year-old son to enter their youth training ranks. Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has built a reputation for unearthing young gems but following the blood line of a star player would appear to be a fresh tactic. More seriously, the gesture could be construed as a part of the ongoing attempt to bind Van Persie to the club for the long term.
Shaqueel, who has shown great promise in both football and golf – he sometimes beats his father at the latter – plays for a team close to the Van Persie family home. Van Persie has been so impressed with the team's coach that he has been happy for Shaqueel to remain with him and ignore Arsenal's calls.
"I honestly have to say that he [Shaqueel] has got a lot of talent for football," said Van Persie, the Arsenal captain. "I recognise a lot of stuff of myself in him. His coach is really great. Arsenal has invited him a couple of times to come and play there but he likes it at his club. He's sensitive for a good atmosphere. Just like me.
"He loves to play golf. You've got some great golf courses here. He's taking lessons and we regularly play a round. Sometimes he beats me! He's got a great gift for where the ball has to go. My shots sometimes end up in the bush; his always go straight. He says: 'Dad, I'm going to chip now, gimme my this or that club.' He can do that perfectly as well."
It is not entirely unusual for Premier League clubs to seek to accommodate the young sons of players. Damian, the son of Rafael van der Vaart, the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder and Van Persie's international team-mate with Holland, trains every week with the Tottenham under-sixes.
The Arsenal striker, who is in prolific goal-scoring form, has postponed new contract talks until the summer, when he will have 12 months to run on his deal. A host of clubs are monitoring the situation, chief among them Manchester City and, in an interview with NUsport magazine, Van Persie spoke of his admiration for Barcelona.
"I still think you can achieve most by playing beautiful football," he said. "Look at Barcelona. Their football is something unique, beautiful to watch. We will never forget it. But sometimes, they also depend on the individual actions of [Lionel] Messi or somebody else.
"Nobody can play beautiful football all the time. That's what I tell the boys [at Arsenal]. When it doesn't go smoothly, just try to kill the game.
"I'm still a lover of the game and I will always be but I've become more realistic. It's too romantic to think you can only win by playing beautiful football. Barcelona is the exception."
Source: the guardian