Quick question, what do Dirk Kuyt, Alexi Lalas and Johan Cruyff have in common? Answer: Two out of three of them think Dirk Kuyt has been the Netherland’s priceless asset in this World Cup.
Johan Cruyff, the Dutch legend has hailed the ‘team first’ mentality of the Liverpool forward and the way he has aquitted himself at the World Cup.
“Look at what he [Kuyt] did so far, He started the tournament on the right, then as a forward, and then against Brazil on the left. Not only did he keep Maicon out of the game, he also went and set up the winner. Someone like that is worth his weight in gold,” said Cruyff.
A long way from the small fishing village of Katwijk aan Zee, Netherlands, Kuyt is showing on the world stage that he is a player of immense value, capable of stitching together talents like Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben, doing all of the hard graft up front, chasing down dangerous attackers and creating goals that have put the Netherlands in the World Cup finals.
And yet, amidst all of the hoopla of the Copa Mundial, Dirk Kuyt has not forgotten his club, who desparately need stability in these troubled times.
After all of the drama of the last few years, all of the criticism, when a new manager has arrived amidst the financial and footballing turmoil, only one player, on the eve of the biggest game of his international career, a finalist in the World Cup, a forward who is counted on to propel his team to victory, has taken time to reaffirm that he is committed to Liverpool FC. No, not Liverpool’s No. 9. Try Liverpool’s No. 18, Dirk Kuyt.
The headline on July 9, 2010, does not read “Torres pledges…” or “Gerrard pledges…” or “Mascherano pledges…” — it reads “Dirk Kuyt Pledges Loyalty to Liverpool”.
The quote from the article tells Liverpool fans all they need to know about the character of their No. 18:
“Kuyt, who is currently preparing for Sunday’s World Cup final between Netherlands and Spain, has no intention of leaving the club.
“Of course I want to stay,” Kuyt said. “Liverpool is a great club with a great history. Unfortunately in my four years I haven’t won anything but hopefully in the future, I will still have that chance.
“We will have to see what happens but hopefully the manager wants me to stay. I spoke to people at the club and I know he wants to speak with me. But it is very difficult at the moment because we are so busy and focus on what lies ahead.”
We are so busy — indeed.
And before all of the naysayers jump in and tell me that Dirk Kuyt doesn’t have the skill or the class or Dirk this and Dirk that, just stop. Ask yourself this: does this player not embody what we want from our players? Is he not speaking the things that all of us feel for Liverpool in our heart? Here he sits, atop the international soccer world, with a chance to write his name in the history books forever, and his attitude, about Liverpool FC is just this: “I hope I get the chance.”
Dirk Kuyt: the beating heart of Liverpool FC. Go ahead, say it. Dirk Kuyt: legend.