03/06/2011 22:04 +0100 – Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has denied making negative comments about Chelsea and Barcelona, insisting he 'respects' them both.
The Holland international, who is preparing for match against Brazil on Saturday, was quoted in his homeland as criticising the supposed gamesmanship of some clubs.
Van Persie supposedly said that Chelsea players were 'always bitching', while he was also quoted as saying Barcelona 'nag' to match officials.
But on Friday evening the forward released a statement via Arsenal's official website in which he described the quotes as false.
Van Persie said: "I'm on international duty at the moment, but following several reports in the media I think it's important to clarify some recent comments attributed to me.
"These reports falsely suggest that I recently made negative comments about Spanish and Chelsea players, I would like to make it perfectly clear that I haven't done an interview with Sport 1 or any other outlet in recent weeks and I've certainly not been rude as the comments suggest.
"I respect my colleagues of Spain and Chelsea and look forward to playing against them for many years to come.
"I sincerely hope that all football fans worldwide don't take these misleading reports seriously."