Dirk Kuyt has always reflected on his time at Liverpool as a “privilege” and his Anfield return for the Legends side is one he is savouring – even if he is a little nervous!
Kuyt arrived at Liverpool from Feyenoord in 2006 and by the time he moved on in 2012, he had worked his way into the hearts of Reds worldwide for his industry and having been a player for the big moment.
The likeable Dutchman did not need to be flashy to earn the plaudits, he was a manager’s dream and his connection to the Liverpool supporters is as strong as they come.
Reds look back on his six years with fond memories, and for Kuyt himself, it’s a source of pride that he signed on the dotted line all those years ago for Liverpool.
“I was very proud that I signed for Liverpool Football Club, was a privilege for me to join the club,” Kuyt told This Is Anfield, recalling the first day he arrived at Melwood.
“The first day I arrived at Melwood and I can remember Rafa Benitez waiting for me and the first player I shook hands with was Steven Gerrard.
“He helped me a lot, he was the captain of the team, of course, and the rest is history.”
Kuyt would end his Liverpool career with 285 appearances in 2012 but has previously returned for a charity match or two, which is again the case against Barcelona Legends on Sunday.
It’s an occasion the 41-year-old is savouring as he reunites with former teammates such as Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia, Maxi Rodriguez and Daniel Agger.
“It’s great to be back in Liverpool. It’s been a while because of Covid, which was a difficult time for all of us, so it’s great to be back, great to see my former teammates and staff,” Kuyt said of his return to Liverpool.
“Hopefully I will see them [Carol and Caroline], that’s nice to see the people in and around the football club. That’s what I always say when people ask me; Liverpool is more than a football club.
“It’s a family where you can see a lot of people whenever you come back and they are still there.
“[Anfield return] is always special, I was looking forward to it for a while and with Covid, it was a hard time and that meant we couldn’t play these kinds of matches. But it’s also for a great cause and I’m very happy to be back.
“A little bit nervous actually to be back but it’s amazing that we have a good crowd, a full crowd and that it is all for charity.”
* You can watch Liverpool Legends vs. Barcelona Legends live here with a virtual ticket, kickoff at Anfield is at 3pm (GMT).