As a footballer, it must be difficult to find the right moment to announce your retirement. However, Dirk Kuyt found the perfect occasion to hang up his boots in May, after firing Feyenoord to their first Eredivisie title in almost 20 years via a sensational hat-trick.
The Dutch champions have qualified for the Champions League as a result, with the striker bringing the curtain down on a wonderful career just three days later.
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) June 4, 2017
Source: Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) via Twitter
The 36-year-old is a hugely likeable character, whose sheer endeavour and willingness helped earn plenty of respect from football fans all around Europe.
Liverpool supporters still feel plenty of affection for the Dutchman despite his departure from the club in 2012 and they’ll be pleased to hear that the feeling is very much reciprocated.
Kuyt is quoted as saying his spell in the Premier League with Liverpool was the best time of his life and Reds fans would relish the thought of him joining the Anfield coaching staff in the future.
The Merseyside club paid £10 million for his services and he repaid that outlay with 71 goals in all competitions.
It wasn’t just his hard-working style of play which won him a place in the hearts of Liverpool supporters; his goals against city rivals Everton also helped his cause.
Kuyt netted five times against the Toffees, more than he managed against any other Premier League side.
He started 237 times for the club before heading to Turkey, where he spent three years at Fenerbahce.
Kuyt was rarely injured and never gave less than 100% in any match regardless of its importance.
In a spell at Feyenoord between 2003 and 2006, he clocked up 179 consecutive matches, breaking numerous records in the process.
Having been born just 43 km from Rotterdam, he has never hidden his affinity for the club and he made his long-awaited return to De Kuip in 2015.
Kuyt also proved himself on the International stage making 104 appearances for Holland scoring 24 times.
He made his last appearance in orange during the 2014 World Cup and after a tumultuous period for the side, they have now been priced up at 50/1 for the 2018 World Cup in the international football betting.
— Futbol Arena (@futbolarena) May 24, 2017
Source: Futbol Arena (@futbolarena) via Twitter
After a slip-up against Excelsior on the penultimate weekend of the season, Feyenoord fans were starting to feel a touch nervous about their side’s title ambitions.
Ajax were closing in and a result was needed at home to mid-table Heracles on the final day of the campaign. Step forward Dirk Kuyt.
The forward scored three times during the 90 minutes, ensuring victory and wrapping up the club’s first title since 1999. Kuyt’s strikes also landed the Rotterdam club a guaranteed place in the Champions League group stage.
The club celebrated their success enthusiastically and Kuyt was at the forefront of the festivities.
During his 19-year career, he has become both a Premier League and Eredivisie legend and his association with football will continue when he begins his coaching badges next season. Kuyt will be fondly remembered by a number of managers, coaches and fans for his intelligence, work rate and end product.
Feyenoord fans will look back on the 2016-17 season with fondness and remember the man whose three-goal salvo ended an 18-year wait for silverware to put them back on the map and back in Europe’s elite club competition.