Robin van Persie has hinted that his spells on the side-lines for Manchester United last season could actually help him and Holland in their quest for the World Cup.
Speaking to De Telegraaf, the Netherlands captain said, “I have not played the entire season at Manchester United, which has given me an advantage. I feel that I am tremendously mentally fresh.”
Van Persie made just 27 appearances in all competitions for United last season as knee, groin and hamstring injuries took their toll.
They were problems that had not blighted the Dutchman during his debut season at United, despite many feeling that Sir Alex Ferguson had paid over the odds for a player who was regularly injured.
That prediction came back to haunt United 12 months on, and yet now his country could benefit while United suffered.
The importance of a fresh van Persie cannot be understated and with Costa Rica on the horizon you wonder just how many goals the 30-year-old has left in him this summer.
“When I see how players who were in the Champions League final perform here (in Brazil) there is a big difference,” van Persie said.
The only question is: Can he ensure that extended rest helps his country – and his new club boss – to World Cup glory, before he focuses on what both men will hope is a fully-fit campaign at Old Trafford?