Van Persie admits he was to blame for shirt swap with AndreSantos

‘I should have thought about it a bit better’: Robin van Persie admits he was to blame for half-time shirt swap with former Arsenal team-mate Andre Santos just months after joining Manchester United in 2012

  • Robin van Persie says he was to blame for his shirt swap with Andre Santos 
  • Van Persie swapped shirts with his ex-Arsenal team-mate Santos in the tunnel 
  • The striker had only recently joined Manchester United from Arsenal in 2012

Robin van Persie has admitted that he was to blame for the infamous half time shirt swap with his former Arsenal team-mate Andre Santos in November 2012.

Van Persie had left Arsenal for Manchester United in a controversial move just months previously and went on to score three minutes into his first game against his old club at Old Trafford.

Santos, who built up a close friendship with van Persie when they were both at Arsenal, was enduring a torrid time at left-back. 

Robin van Persie says he was to blame for his infamous shirt swap with Andre Santos in 2012

The pair swapped shirts in 2012 just months after van Persie’s move to Manchester United

Arsenal supporters were left infuriated when the pair swapped shirts as they walked towards the tunnel at half time, with many livid at Santos’ actions.

However, van Persie stressed that he should have thought more carefully about the situation and swapped shirts in the tunnel instead. 

Van Persie told BT Sport: ‘You have to think about the consequences. You know, if I look back at that moment with Santos I think I should have done better there. 

‘Yeah, poor guy. It was all negative for him because (people thought) why are you swapping shirts at half time? 

‘I do get that feeling that people might think that way. But Andre Santos was a friend of mine. We went for dinner, I was going to his house while I was playing at Arsenal. 

‘I think it was my first game back (against Arsenal) and at half time he asked me, but I should have thought about it a bit better and waited 20 metres then swapped inside the tunnel. It would have saved him a lot of hassle.’ 

Santos and van Persie built up a strong friendship during their time together at Arsenal

United won the game 2-1, with Patrice Evra scoring their second goal before Santi Cazorla got a late consolation for Arsenal, who played the last 20 minutes with ten men after Jack Wilshere was sent off.

Santos went on to make just five further appearances for Arsenal and was loaned out to Gremio before joining Flamengo on a permanent basis. 

Speaking last year, Santos said that he didn’t regret swapping shirts with van Persie.

He said: ‘I don’t regret it because I never stopped being his friend. 

‘My culture is different from the English culture. I’m not obliged to be in the same culture as them.’ 

Further episodes of What I Wore: at Home will be released in over the coming weeks and will be available to watch on the BT Sport YouTube channel 

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