Van Persie falls short in quest to be considered as one of Europe's 'elite'

Van Persie United 2

Manchester United's top striker had a point to prove against Real Madrid. He didn't quite make it.

Next time Europe's big awards are handed out, and Robin van Persie is not included, don't listen to the likes of Rio Ferdinand moaning that the Dutchman wasn't included.

If the striker had any intent of being regarded in the same stratosphere as Messi or Ronaldo, he will have to prove his point another year because this time he missed the boat. 

In two legs against Real Madrid, Van Persie had 10 shots on goal. Six of those were on target, yet none of them found the net.

It's an unusual strike rate for a player usually so consistent, and on the biggest stage of all when he was desperate to impress in front of the watching world.

While in the Premier League he is unstoppable, scoring 19 times, including crucial goals in the big games against Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City, on Europe's big stage he has struggled to replicate that success in the knockout rounds.

He went missing for Arsenal away at AC Milan last season, scoring just a penalty in the home leg before missing a sitter. The year before that he can point to a dramatic equaliser he scored at home to Barcelona, but his experience was soured when he was sent off at the Nou Camp.

Van Persie has been superb for United since arriving, but if he really wanted his impact at United to transcend into Europe, and be noted as a continent-wide unstoppable force, he has fallen short.

He will have opportunities in the future to prove a point, but tonight against Madrid he had the perfect chance to really announce his presence as an elite striker by firing United to victory. And he didn't.

How do you think Van Persie compares to Ronaldo? 

image: © Doha Stadium Plus

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