Van Persie admits he remains a big fan of the Juventus captain.
He is quoted by Voetbalzone: "I played against him a few times and he is really a winner. You saw that a few weeks ago against the Dutch national team.
"He's 36, but gives 9 elbows, laughing. He keeps on smiling and doesn't even get a yellow card. You need those kind of winners, killers, I thought we should have him.
"I came up with suggestions and names based on him, my own experiences. We were very good at the front and scored a lot, but your goalkeeper and your last line are the foundation of your team."