Ruud Van Nistelrooy
Ruud Van Nistelrooy

Former Holland striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy fears his phone has been hacked by newspaper reporters desperate for information from inside the changing room.

Van Nistelrooy spent five years playing in the Premier League for Manchester United and regularly made headlines with his fierce eye for a goal.

The retired hitman spoke of his suspicions during a debate in The Netherlands with students at Fontys University in Eindhoven.

He was sharing a platform with a panel that included a designer of sexy underwear and a Dutch comedian.

Van Nistelrooy reportedly told the audience that he had been baffled by how certain stories had made it into British newspapers.

"I cannot prove it but things appeared in the newspapers that they should not have known," he said.

He left Old Trafford under a cloud after a hugely successful spell on the pitch, in which he scored 150 goals in five seasons from 2001.

After being dropped by Sir Alex Ferguson for the final game of the 2005/06 season, Van Nistelrooy drove away from the stadium and never returned.

That summer he left Manchester to join Real Madrid, where he scored 46 goals in 68 games - though he struggled for a regular spot in the starting 11.

The phone hacking scandal continues to unfold in Britain, with the arrest of six former News of the World reporters, in February.

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch axed the News of the World after phone hacking by staff was exposed, a scandal that led to the Leveson Inquiry.

Murdoch recently settled legal claims with celebrity victims Hugh Grant and Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York.