Former Netherlands forward Dirk Kuyt has announced his retirement from professional football after an illustrious 19-year career that included spells in England and Turkey.
The 36-year-old made the announcement on Wednesday after leading Feyenoord to their first Dutch Eredivisie title in 18 years on the weekend. Kuyt will now move into a role with the club’s technical management team.
A veteran of three FIFA World Cup™ tournaments, Kuyt was part of the Netherlands side that finished runners-up at South Africa 2010 and claimed third place at Brazil 2014. He sits sixth on the Oranje’s all-time appearance list with 104 caps, having scored 24 goals during his international career.
A top goalscorer, Kuyt started his career at Utrecht, where he won the Dutch Cup before moving to Feyenoord for the first of two spells in 2003. After being the top scorer in his first three seasons with the Rotterdam club, Kuyt moved to English Premier League giants Liverpool in 2006. He scored 71 goals in 285 appearances during his six seasons with the Reds, leading them to an English League Cup title in 2012. The forward then had a three-year spell with Fenerbahce, where he won the Turkish Super Lig, Turkish Cup, and Turkish Super Cup titles. He returned to Feyenoord in 2015 and won a second Dutch Cup winners medal before leading the club to the Dutch league title this season.
“Throughout my career, I have always followed my heart when taking decisions and that goes for this one too,” Kuyt said in an announcement on Feyenoord’s official website. “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.”