By Chris Harris
As a former Feyenoord player, Robin van Persie won't win any popularity contests at the Amsterdam Arena this week. But while Arsenal's in-form forward is unlikely to seduce the Ajax fans, he is admired by the Ajax players.
Take Wesley Sneijder. He and Van Persie are expected to cross paths when Arsenal face Ajax in the final match of the Amsterdam Tournament on Saturday. Since they last faced each other, in a Champions League tie at Highbury in December 2005, both men have made their mark on the international stage.
As Dutch team-mates, Sneijder and Van Persie harbour a deep respect for each other. So it was no surprise that there was something of a 'love-in' when both players faced the media at the pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday night.
Sneijder hailed Van Persie as "one of the best players at Arsenal" and his compatriot was quick to repay the compliment.
"I like Wesley as a person and even more as a player," said Van Persie. "I've been playing for the national team for two years now and he has been playing for the national team a bit longer, and I always like to play alongside him.
"He is always looking forward, he's always trying to make things happen. He is like an Arsenal player. Arsenal players always look forward and want to make the game.
"Wesley is a player like that and I think he made the right decision to stay one more year [at Ajax] and get everything out of it. He can achieve nice things and it is good for Ajax too to have him."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 2 Aug 2007