'It's your right to show the ref that you have been pushed'

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"Diving is cheating, but there's no problem with exaggerating". That is Robin van Persie's view on the issue which enveloped his team-mate, Eduardo, in controversy earlier this season. Harry Redknapp last week suggested Spurs' Robbie Keane attempted to keep his feet at Chelsea because the incident, in which Eduardo was pilloried, banned, then exonerated, was on his mind. Van Persie said he never thought about the affair while playing, but admitted it did rear its head at Old Trafford this month.

"I had a moment at Man United after the whole Eduardo thing. I had the ball on the right and cut it back, Patrice Evra gave me a little push, only a little one, but it knocked me off balance. I fell down and the whole stadium started to boo me. I was like, 'Yeah but, come on, don't you see that he pushed me?' People don't see these little pushes but they put you off balance and it can look a bit funny.

"It is never my intention to dive. I am against divers because it is not honest but I think you are within your rights to show the ref you have been pushed. I do exaggerate things sometimes when I'm in the middle of an action, I take a little push, and I know the action is finished and I can't score. You make some movements with your arms or your body, but I don't think that is cheating."