So soon after the prestigious Ballon d’Or award was given to Lionel Messi for his record-breaking 2012, people are still talking about the omission of some of the Premier League’s biggest names from the shortlist. One of the most notable absentees was Robin van Persie, who has led the line well since moving from Arsenal to Manchester United.
In the summer, van Persie was the subject of interest from Arsenal’s three main rivals for the Premier League title – champions Manchester City, city rivals United and Chelsea. To the surprise of some, he turned down City’s megabucks to join Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, and since his arrival, he’s scored 16 goals in half a season.
Prior to that, he had a stellar final season at the Emirates Stadium, scoring enough goals to ensure that his former side would remain in the Champions League places. Recently, City manager Roberto Mancini bemoaned the fact that he missed out on signing van Persie, stating that “He has changed their situation. He is the difference between us.”
Although 2013 is only a few days old, if the 29-year-old Dutchman remains free from serious injuries like those he suffered frequently with Arsenal, there’s every chance he could fire United to winning major honours. Manchester United are 1/4 favourites to reclaim the Premier League title with bookmakers Ladbrokes.
There’s every chance that, at the very least, Manchester United could win the league thanks in no small part to van Persie’s impressive goal haul. As for individual honours, it didn’t seem right that he was ignored by those in charge of nominations for the Ballon d’Or. However, his great club form can’t go unnoticed for too long.
Should he continue to impress, could he be nominated for the big prize in a year’s time? It depends on how Messi, Ronaldo et al perform, but winning the Premier League and perhaps the Champions League could do his cause no harm.