Stick to playing golf, Van Persie tells Van Hooijdonk

The Manchester United striker has hit back at criticism from the former Oranje player over his commitment to the national team and says now is no time for arguments

Robin van Persie has told former Netherlands striker Pierre van Hooijdonk to “stick to playing golf” instead of criticising his performances for the national team.

Van Persie was on target from the penalty spot with his 47th international goal as Louis van Gaal’s side beat Brazil 3-0 in the World Cup’s third-place play-off on Saturday, but the Manchester United striker was upset about criticism from Van Hooijdonk in Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad on the day of the game.

The former striker wrote in a column on Saturday that the Manchester United star should be dropped from the team for a lack of commitment and current Netherlands captain took his chance to hit back.

“Van Hooijdonk needs to stop,” he told NOS, the TV station Van Hooijdonk currently works for as a pundit. “He should stick to playing golf or do something else.

“Everybody is proud of the team, but he creates panic without arguments. I gave everything and I don’t understand why Van Hooijdonk does this and gets a platform like this.

“I can take criticism, but only when its fair. It’s not coming from a good heart. Maybe he’s angry with me, you should ask him.”

Van Hooijdonk scored 14 goals in 46 appearances for Netherlands, but the former Celtic and Benfica striker has endured a rocky relationship with Van Persie after criticising his former international team-mate in the past.

“This shows that he has bad feelings about me, instead of other way around,” the 44-year-old said of Van Persie’s reaction on the same station later on. “It’s my job to be critical on the things that I see.”

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