THE HAGUE - Dutch ace Robin van Persie is counting on the World Cup to act as a cure for a 'complicated' season at Manchester United.
"For the first time in my professional career I finished a season without qualifying for a European competition," the 30-year-old striker told AFP.
In his first season at United under Alex Ferguson, van Persie scored 26 league goals as the team secured the English Premier League title.
However, the second season was a disaster as Britain's wealthiest club slumped to their lowest finish since 1990 and new manager David Moyes lasted only 10 months.
"It was a complicated season. Nothing worked for us," van Persie bemoaned. The striker had regular injuries which culminated in a sprained knee in March that ruled him out for six weeks."
Brazil may be the last chance for van Persie, who made his name at Feyenoord and became an icon at Arsenal before his $A44.25m move to Manchester United in 2012, to claim a title on the international stage.
His reputation is already secure in England, where he is the 10th highest scorer in Premier League history with 134 goals.
As one of the most feared strikers in the world — he was the top scorer of any European nation in World Cup qualifying with 11 goals — he has become the centre-piece of the Dutch team.
Last year he was made team captain, as Louis van Gaal, the Dutch coach who has just been named as the new Manchester manager, made a u-turn in his attitude to the striker.
At the start of qualifying, van Gaal had named Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as the spearhead of his strike force.
The Dutch reached the final of the 2010 World Cup, but van Persie and his teammates had a disappointing 2012 European Championship in Ukraine, where the Netherlands crashed out in the group stage.
Van Persie bounced back, though, as Van Gaal readily admitted.
"He has such talent that I cannot get by without him," the coach said.