Feyenoord's Dirk Kuyt announces retirement following Dutch title win
Dirk Kuyt has announced he is retiring from football -- just three days after captaining Feyenoord to the Eredivisie title.
Kuyt, 36, scored a hat trick on Sunday as Feyenoord defeated Heracles 3-1 to beat Ajax to the title -- the first time they have won the trophy in 18 years.
The former Netherlands international, who also represented Utrecht, Liverpool and Fenerbahce, will take up a non-playing role with Feyenoord. Kuyt rejoined the Dutch club in 2015 having spent three years there between 2003 and 2006.
"Throughout my career I have always followed my heart when taking decisions and that goes for this one too," Kuyt told 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."
According to Feyenoord's statement, Kuyt "will focus on gaining a position within Feyenoord's technical management team" and "will follow a sports management-oriented programme." Technical director Martin van Geel will act as his mentor.
"We are incredibly grateful to Dirk for what he has done for Feyenoord these past two years," Van Geel said. "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. I will tutor Dirk and I could easily imagine him taking over from me in due course."
As well as winning the Eredivisie title with Feyenoord this season, last year he helped them to the KNVB Cup. In his first spell with the club he was their top scorer in each of his three seasons there.
Kuyt, who won 104 caps for Netherlands, is also fondly remembered at Liverpool, who he joined from Feyenoord in 2006.
He helped the Premier League club to the Champions League final in 2007, where they lost to AC Milan, while he won the League Cup in 2012.
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