Dirk Kuyt has announced his retirement from football just days after scoring a hat-trick to secure a first league title in 18 years for Feyenoord – not a bad way to end your career!
The former Liverpool forward, who made 285 appearances for the Reds from 2006 to 2012, said: “I had the dream of winning trophies and becoming a champion with Feyenoord. All my dreams have come true.”
The ‘adopted scouser’ is set to remain at the Dutch club, from which Liverpool signed him for £10 million in 2006, becoming part of their technical staff.
As Kuyt, now 36, retires, an incredible stat reveals that he has never had any real injury during his entire career – missing just 42 league matches in 19 seasons.
He ends his career after playing 782 games, scoring 281 goals for club and country.
Kuyt’s infectious work ethic and ability to deliver on the big occasion endeared him to Liverpool fans after a slow start to life at Anfield.
He eventually saw his hard work rewarded with a trophy in his final season at the club, scoring in the League Cup final of 2012 after coming off the bench.
Unfortunately, Kenny Dalglish hard marginalised Kuyt in favour of playing a young Jordan Henderson in an unnatural role on the right of midfield, seeing Kuyt depart when perhaps he had plenty more to offer at Liverpool.
Kuyt will always be remembered fondly on Merseyside as a player who understood the club, the fans and the city.
As one banner once read: Dirk Kuyt – a working class hero.