AMSTERDAM, (Reuters) - Dirk Kuyt announced his retirement from football on Wednesday, bowing out in the best way possible after his hat trick on Sunday won a first Dutch championship in 18 years for Feyenoord.
The much anticipated announcement came after Kuyt captained his club to an emotional title victory with a 3-1 win over Heracles Almelo, and he led fevered celebrations in front of some 150,000 people in Rotterdam on Monday.
“All my dreams have come true. I made decisions throughout my whole career based on gut feeling, and for me this is the right time to stop,” the striker told the club website ( www.feyenoord.nl ).
“Since returning to Feyenoord I’ve had two fantastic seasons, with the title this season an absolute highlight. I dreamt of becoming champion with Feyenoord.”
Kuyt will stay with the club as part of the technical management team under technical director Martin van Geel.
“We are incredibly grateful to Dirk for what he has done for Feyenoord these past two years,” said Van Geel.
“He has added a huge deal with his attitude, professionalism and passion. In the dressing room, on the pitch and beyond. So we are delighted to be able to retain someone with his experience and attitude at the club.”
Kuyt won 104 caps for the Netherlands and played in the 2010 World Cup final. He began his career with Utrecht in 1998 before twice playing for Feyenoord, for Liverpool, with whom he scored in the Champions league final against AC Milan in 2007, and Turkish side Fenerbahce. He returned to Feyenoord in 2015.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson and Neil Robinson; Editing by Mark Heinrich