Birthdate: 22 July 1980
Birthplace: Katwijk, Netherlands
Other clubs: Quick Boys (1985-98), Utrecht (1998-2003), Feyenoord (2003-06), Fenerbahce (2012-15), Feyenoord (2/2015-)
Bought from: Feyenoord
Signed for LFC: £9m, 18.08.2006
International debut: 03.09.2004 vs. Liechtenstein
International caps: 104/24 (64/20 at LFC) - 04.09.2014
Liverpool debut: 26.08.2006
Last appearance: 13.05.2012
Debut goal: 20.09.2006
Last goal: 21.03.2012
Contract expiry: 03.06.12
Win ratio: 51.58% W:147 D:68 L:70
Games/goals ratio: 4.01
Honours: League Cup 2012
LFC league games/goals: 208 / 51
Total LFC games/goals: 285 / 71
Player profileKuyt was born in Katwijk aan Zee, a small fisherman’s town near the Noordzee. He was the third of four children. He was raised mainly by his mother, while his father was often out on the open sea. When he was 12-years-old, Kuyt had to choose between aspiring to become a fisherman or a footballer. He turned down the offer of an apprenticeship as a fisherman as while at sea he would miss most of the midweek training sessions. He soon made a name for himself in footballing circles, and not just because of his remarkably blond hair. In March 1998, after several years in Katwijk’s youth team, Kuyt made his debut for the Quick Boys’ first team, that was playing at the highest amateur level in Holland. He played in the last six matches of the 1997/98 season, scoring three goals as a 17-year-old. He was on an unlikely road to stardom. "In Holland, you start at the age of five at an amateur club and at that age I was doing fine," he remembers. "I was with Quick Boys and I was enjoying myself. But, by the time boys reach 14 or 15, the good ones go off to the academies of clubs like Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven and Ajax. At that stage, though, nobody was showing an interest in me. Not at 15 or 16 either. By then I thought that, even if did eventually make it into the professional ranks, I was never going to play for one of the bigger clubs. I just had one dream. To play in the first team for my amateur club." Kuyt became a household name in Holland in the 2002/03 season when he scored 20 goals in 34 games for Utrecht in the Eredivisie. In his final match for Utrecht, the Dutch Cup final against Feyenoord, he contributed one goal in a 4-1 victory. After 67 goals in 184 matches for Utrecht, Bert van Marwijk, later coach of the Dutch national team, bought him to Feyenoord even though the technical director of the club did not believe Kuyt was good enough. Kuyt repaid van Marwijk's confidence by scoring 83 goals in 122 games. He was top-scorer in Holland in 2005, scoring 29 goals in 34 games and captained Feyenoord in the 2005/06 season. Kuyt made 233 appearances from 1999 until 2006 of which he played 179 consecutively. Kuyt took his tremendous work ethic and bags of talent to Anfield. He hit the ground running in England, and played like he had been at Liverpool for ten years. The Dutchman scored 14 goals in his debut season including Liverpool's goal in the Champions League final in Athens. He struggled for consistency in his second season. The death of his dearly beloved father, who had followed his son's progress with intensity, no doubt contributed to Kuyt's erratic form. Kuyt finally was back to his best in the last part of the 2007/08 campaign, though playing on the right flank instead of up front. He only scored three League goals in 2007/08 but netted seven goals in the Champions League and was particularly important in the latter stages of the competition scoring in the last 16 against Inter Milan, the quarter-finals against Arsenal and in the semi-finals against Chelsea.
Ever the scorer of important goals Kuyt found the net in the 118th minute against Standard Liege in the second leg of the Champions League third qualifying round when a penalty shoot-out was looming at Anfield at the start of the 2008/09 season. The Dutchman went though a dry spell from middle of November to middle February, but created a lot of scoring opportunities for others and contributed to the team's cause. He equalled his League total of 12 goals from his first season and added three in the Champions League, including Liverpool's fourth goal in the second leg of the exciting 4-4 quarter-final against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Kuyt continued to be one of his manager's favourite players in 2009/10 as he only missed three of Liverpool's 56 competitive matches during the season. Although similar affection was not always shown towards him by some supporters as Kuyt is not blessed with the best first touch ever seen nor is he the quickest as he runs "like he has a parachute on" as Jamie Carragher noted. Whatever his shortcomings, nobody could criticise the Dutchman's work-rate or enthusiasm.
That "The Energizer Bunny" loved being a Liverpool player has never been beyond question. Kuyt worked as hard as he ever did during the 2010/11 season, missed only five Premier League matches and 13 League goals was his best return as a Liverpool player. Kuyt achieved a rare feat, not seen by a Liverpool player since 2001, by scoring in five consecutive League matches towards the end of the season. He also netted a hat-trick against Manchester United at Anfield on 6 March 2011, having failed to score in his previous nine encounters against them since coming into the Premier League. Six years of hard work and honest endeavour finally brought tangible reward for the popular Dutchman when he collected a League Cup winners' medal in 2012 after putting his team ahead in extra-time of the final against Cardiff City at Wembley and then scoring from the penalty spot in the shoot-out that followed. Kuyt's 100% success-rate from eight penalties had ended though when he missed from the spot against Everton in October and again when facing Arsenal in March. But he did reach 50 League goals for the club when netting the final goal in a 3-0 win at Wolverhampton in January 2012. The late Anfield winner against Manchester United in the FA Cup was another reminder that he could still be a man for the big occasion At the start of June 2012 the popular 31-year-old Dutchman signed a three-year contract with Istanbul club Fenerbahce. Kuyt was very emotional leaving Liverpool. "After six years, I just had a feeling I needed to change something in my career, a new experience, a new country, new people around me, and that's why I made the decision to leave," he said. "I had a great time and I had great teammates. The club was great, the people were great and the people from Liverpool - the text messages, the phone calls, the e-mails, all the tweets I had on my Twitter account - it's unbelievable how much respect they showed me and it's also a bit emotional. They wished me good luck and they said that they will miss me." More than a player Kuyt is a humanitarian who runs the Dirk Kuyt foundation that supports and organizes events for people with disabilities.
Dirk Kuyt adapted well to life in Turkey after six years in England. Fenerbahçe were unable to prevent Galatasaray from winning the domestic championship but Kuyt played in thirty-one of the thirty-four Süper Lig matches, scoring eight times. Fenerbahçe had a long run in Europe, reaching the semi-final stage of the Europa League after topping Group C at the earlier stage of the competition. The Dutchman's previous European experience with Liverpool was a real advantage to the Turkish club with Kuyt contributing an impressive seven goals from seventeen European ties during the season. In the summer of 2015, after 26 goals in 95 league appearances for Fenerbahce, Kuyt returned to Holland signing for Feyenoord on a one year deal.
Kuyt was part of a championship-winning squad in 2013/14 as Fenerbahçe equalled Galatasaray's total of nineteen domestic titles. Dirk played in 32 of the 34 league matches, scoring ten times. He added more appearances in the Turkish Super cup and the Champions League, where the Turks were beaten home and away by Arsenal in the play-off round. Kuyt was one of the key players in the Dutch squad in the knockout stages of the 2014 World Cup, equally adept in attack and defence on the right as the Netherlands finished in third place. Unfortunately, there would be no European football to look forward to in 2014/15 because the Turkish champions would be serving the second year of a two-year ban by UEFA following match-fixing allegations. Ironically, that European ban would end at about the same time that Kuyt's three-year contract would expire in the middle of 2015, when he returned to Feyenoord. Despite his advancing years, Kuyt scored nineteen goals in the Eredivisie in 2015-16 and helped his side win the Dutch Cup, leading to speculation that Barcelona could be ready to make a bid. He put paid to any rumours though by opening a one year contract extension and retained his links with Liverpool, attending the second leg of the Europa League semi final against Villareal..
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
|10||West Ham United|
|2||Brighton & Hove Albion|
Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
|3||West Ham United|
|1||Brighton & Hove Albion|
|Total||Goal minute period|
|1||26.08.2006||West Ham United||Anfield||League|
|200||09.05.2010||Hull City||KC Stadium||League|
Liverpool Echo press report on Liverpool - Manchester United on 06.03.2011.More
From Soccer AM on Sky Sports in March 2010 - Teammates.More
For all his supposed shortcomings, and lingering critics, Dirk Kuyt is absolutely critical to the way Liverpool play.More
DIRK KUYT TALKS TO MATT LAWTON: On almost shunning football for fishing, graft over glory, respect for Rafa - and drawing Chelsea in Europe on 4th April 2009.More
The Observer report on Liverpool - Wigan on 21.04.2007.More
An article by Jonathan Northcroft in the Sunday Times on 10th September 2006.More
Match report from the Observer on Liverpool - West Ham on 26th August 2006.More
Rafa had been chasing Dirk Kuyt for two years. Article by Chris Bascombe, Liverpool Echo on 17th August 2006.More
"We've been trying to find a top goalscorer in Europe. That's difficult, but we knew Kuyt was one such player. He's been playing well for a long time, and he's someone I'm sure will bring a quality to the team. Sometimes you see a top class player who may find it hard to adapt to the Premiership, but in his case he has the work rate, game intelligence and goalscoring ability to make him succeed in England.
We needed someone who would be different to Bellamy and Robbie, but maybe similar in a way to Crouch. Kuyt can not only play as a target man, he can play as the second striker, on the right or on the left. For sure, he's not someone we'll use as a winger, but he can play alongside Bellamy, Fowler, Crouch and Luis and give us many options.
We first talked about him when we were at Valencia. That was when we first monitored him and kept having him watched. I know Liverpool supporters like players who work really hard, and he is like this. He is a complete type of player. He does everything well. He'll score with both feet and his head."
Rafa is happy with the signature of Dirk Kuyt
"I said last year, when nobody knew him, that he was a '20-20' player - 20 goals and 20 assists a season. In Europe there is maybe no-one else who is a '20-20' player.
We came very close to signing him and everybody knows him now. He is the best character you can have. He works, he can head the ball, he can score goals - not like David Ginola or even Robbie Keane - but he is so functional in his way.
He never loses a ball and is a 100 per cent team player. He is different. He has got strength as well. He is not only a gifted forward - he's an all-rounder. He moves well and his fitness levels are unbelievable. He makes things look simple but that is his strength. He started off in non-league but his career then went like a rocket. He was not at Ajax, Feyenoord or PSV - he was not in a youth academy. He came from an amateur club when he was 18.
He went to Utrecht and they sold him to Feyenoord. He could have moved on from Feyenoord but he wanted to stay because he is the most popular player ever at that club. He is an honest player. His mentality is so good that he wants to be better and better and works day and night to do that. So that is his strength."
Tottenham boss, Martin Jol, on Dirk Kuyt in September 2006
"We had confidence because of watching him working during the games but also training and how he could score goals, we knew that he could be a good player for English football. The physical approach that he has to each game is really important for him.
When I was talking with him trying to bring him here he always said the same to me, that he was a Liverpool supporter. I have a friend of mine who was his team mate and he said to me that Kuyt was always watching the Premiership and Liverpool was his target."
Rafa in March 2007 on Dirk Kuyt's capture
"Also, you can see Dirk Kuyt running around like Forrest Gump non-stop for 120 minutes if necessary, that shows their passion and commitment."
Rafa's praise, if you can call it so, in August 2007
Kuyt has a fantastic mentality. We talk about him being a striker who has played on the right because we needed it. He can also play as a second striker. When we played in the Cup and Philipp Degen had cramps, he said to me that if I wanted he could play at right-back. It's not just his versatility and the fact he's in very good condition, it's his mentality. He's always ready to help the team. He is a player that every manager would want in their team. You can play him or not but he's always available, always ready and always helping the team.
When you talk about a squad or a winning team, you need players with this mentality. If you have to change something for a game or have to put a player out of position, he is always available. That's massive for a manager.
Rafa on Dirk Kuyt in January 2010
Look at Dirk Kuyt: I can think of far more vaunted wide-men, and yet he was the sixth top scorer in the entire Premier League last season, and the league's sixth top assist-maker, with not one single winger ahead of him. Given that he doesn't take the corners and free-kicks that help players rack up assists, that's a great contribution, even before considering his work-rate and general team-ethic. He's not flash, but he delivers.
The manager and his scouts will check a player's background, his attitude, his lifestyle. They will be the ones looking into the player's eyes in a negotiation, to find out what motivates him. Bill Shankly always preferred players with less skill if they had more character. A lot has changed in the game, but core attributes, like commitment and temperament, remain crucial. Not tricks on YouTube.
Paul Tomkins' wise words on Dirk Kuyt in the summer of 2009
Look at what 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.
Johan Cruyff praised Dirk Kuyt for his performance at the World Cup 2010
|Club||Season||Club rank||League apps||League goals||Total apps||Total goals|
|Quick Boys||1997-1998||Netherlands non-league||6||3||6||3|