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The ties that bind United, Feyenoord, Fenerbahçe

Draws always throw up some close associations, but the links that bind Group A rivals Feyenoord, Manchester United and Fenerbahçe are remarkable – just ask Robin van Persie.

Dirk Kuyt, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie
Dirk Kuyt, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie ©UEFA.com

Van Persie's career comes together
Rotterdam-born Robin van Persie scored 14 goals in 61 league games for Feyenoord at the start of his career, lifting the 2002 UEFA Cup on home soil. He also struck 48 times in 86 Premier League matches during three seasons with Manchester United, with whom he landed the 2012/13 Premier League title (what's more, he hit four against them while at Arsenal, including a consolation in an 8-2 defeat in 2001). He joined Fenerbahçe last summer.

Rooney's 2004 debut hat-trick v Fenerbahçe

Rooney's Old Trafford fireworks 
Current captain Wayne Rooney, then only 18, claimed a hat-trick against Fenerbahçe on his Manchester United and UEFA Champions League debut in the 2004 group stage. The Turkish team gained some revenge in the matchday six return but by then they were already guaranteed to finish second. Rooney is the sole survivor of those fixtures, though Volkan Demirel was an unused substitute for Fenerbahçe.

Watch Van Persie's goals for United

Kuyt connections
Dirk Kuyt, now 36, spent three years with Fenerbahçe before rejoining Feyenoord 12 months ago. He previously had six seasons representing United's rivals Liverpool and once scored a treble against them in a 3-1 league victory in March 2011. Another Anfield old boy, Australian Brad Jones, is first-choice keeper at Feyenoord this term.

Mouth-watering taster
Ukrainian group stage debutants Zorya, the 1972 Soviet champions, have played just seven European ties. One of them came against Feyenoord: a UEFA Europa League play-off thriller two summers ago. After a 1-1 draw in Kyiv, Zorya were heading through with the score 3-3 in the second leg, until Elvis Manu's 92nd-minute clincher.

Head to heads 
1997 UCL: United 2-1 Feyenoord
1997 UCL: Feyenoord 1-3 United

1996 UCL: Fenerbahçe 0-2 United
1996 UCL: United 0-1 Fenerbahçe
2004 UCL: United 6-2 Fenerbahçe
2004 UCL: Fenerbahçe 3-0 United

2002 UCL: Feyenoord 1-0 Fenerbahçe
2002 UCL: Fenerbahçe 0-2 Feyenoord

2014 UEL: Zorya 1-1 Feyenoord
2014 UEL: Feyenoord 4-3 Zorya