Feyenoord forward, and Liverpool cult hero, Dirk Kuyt has called a halt to his playing career at the age of 36.
The Eredivisie side made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, bringing an end to his two-year stay (in a playing capacity, at least) at De Kuip.
In a statement on the club’s website, Kuyt conceded that this felt like the right time to hang up his boots, after realising his dream of adding a league title with Feyenoord to his collection of honours.
“Throughout my career I have always followed my heart when taking decisions and that goes for this one too.
“To me this feels like the right time to retire. I have had two fantastic years here since returning to Feyenoord, with this season’s title as the absolute pinnacle. I had the dream of winning trophies and becoming a champion with Feyenoord. All my dreams have come true.”
Kuyt’s dream of winning the Eredivsie title was realised last weekend, and it was he who put the icing on the cake for this season. Having struggled for goals this season, particularly since the turn of the year, Kuyt rolled back the years by notching a hat-trick in a 3-1 win against Heracles to ensure that the trophy would be heading back to Rotterdam for the first time since 1999.
— Just Football (@JustFootball) May 14, 2017
The league win is Kuyt’s second trophy since returning to the Netherlands last year, having been part of the side that won the KNVB Cup season. In a career that spanned almost two decades, he also won the KNVB Cup with Utrecht in 2003, the League Cup with Liverpool, and a Turkish Super Lig and Cup while at Fenerbahce, scoring 295 goals in 798 appearances in that time.
In terms of his international record, he received 104 caps for the Dutch national side between 2010 and 2014, finishing as runners-up to Spain in 2010 World Cup before earning a bronze medal in Brazil under Louis van Gaal four years later.
In his six years at Anfield he developed cult-like status, and although his goal return of 71 in 286 games wasn’t the best on paper, his attitude, determination and constantly showing that he was the man for the big occasion had cemented his status as a Liverpool legend by the time he left the club in 2012.
The other thing with Dirk Kuyt is that he is NEVER injured. Since his career began in 1998, he has missed 42 league matches IN TOTAL.
— Simon Gleave (@SimonGleave) May 16, 2017
He also scored what was quite possibly a hat-trick from the shortest total distance, and against Manchester United no less, in 2011:
Niewielu może pochwalić się hat-trickiem przeciw Man United.
— LFC Poland (@PolandLFC) March 6, 2017
On the Mixer Irish Football Podcast this week, we’re joined by Galway United manager Shane Keegan, we react to Martin O’Neill’s latest Ireland squad, plus the usual discussion of League of Ireland matters.