Feyenoord captain Dirk Kuyt retires after Eredivisie win

Feyenoord captain Dirk Kuijt lifts the Eredivisie trophy in front of some 150 thousand fans on the Coolsingel in Rotterdam, 15 May 2017
Feyenoord captain Dirk Kuijt lifts the Eredivisie trophy in front of some 150 thousand fans on the Coolsingel in Rotterdam, 15 May 2017. Photo: @Feyenoord / Twitter

Feyenoord captain Dirk Kuyt is retiring his football career, the Rotterdam team announced on its website on Wednesday. Following a career high point of scoring a hat trick and for Feyenoord on Sunday, the 36-year-old footballer feels that this is the right time to step down.

"Throughout my career I made my decisions on gut feelings, and this one too", Kuyt said in a statement on the Feyenoord website. "To me, this feels like the right moment to stop. After my return to Feyenoord, I had two fantastic years here, with this season's title as the absolute highlight. I came back to win prizes and become champion with Feyenoord. All my dreams have come true." He added that he always had the feeling that he will still be important for Feyenoord this season, even though he spent more time on the bench. "That I could then make my hundredth goal for Feyenoord and a hat trick in the championship match.. That is indescribable."

Feyenoord invited Kuyt to stay on in a technical management position, and he accepted. "The fact that the club wants to keep me is a wonderful show of appreciation. I am looking forward to learning from Martin van Geel and preparing for a position in the technical management of Feyenoord." He will have to take a few training and management courses, and he looks forward to it. "But first I'm enjoying the championship, as I've been doing all week"

On social media fans, clubs, leagues and media responded with understanding and acceptance to Kuyt's decision. Most everyone thanked him for his part in Feyenoord and football.ย On RTL Late Night on Wednesday night, presenter Humberto Tan showed a video compiled of former teammates and coaches, from the Netherlands and abroad,ย saying thank you to Kuyt, including Wesley Sneijder, Mark van Bommel, Louis van Gaal, Raul Meireles, Pepe Reia and Steven Gerrard. "I always liked you. You're not only a fantastic person, but also a fantastic footballer", Van Gaal said.

Tan made a point of noting how easy it was to make this video - everyone wanted to contribute. "You're a binder", he said to Kuyt. And Kuyt agreed: "Yes, I think that is my best quality. That I can connect people and teams. If you want to get the best out of yourself, you have to do it together."

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