Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dirk Kuyt

Dirk Kuyt (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdɪrk ˈkœy̆t] ( listen); born 22 July 1980) is a Dutch professional footballer who plays for English club Liverpool. He started his career as a striker, earning the nickname Dangerous Dirk due to his prowess in front of goal, but he has been converted into a winger and plays the position for both Liverpool and the Netherlands national team. Kuyt began his professional career with FC Utrecht in 1998 and quickly became part of their first team.

He spent five years at the club and in his final season he won his first senior honour, the Dutch Cup, and was chosen as the season's Dutch Golden Shoe Winner. Following this, he left Utrecht in a €1 million transfer to Feyenoord. He became the club captain in 2005 and was a prolific goalscorer at the Rotterdam club; he was the club's top scorer for three consecutive seasons, the top goalscorer in the 2004–05 Eredivisie season, and the 2005–06 Dutch Footballer of the Year.

Kuyt missed only five games over seven seasons from 1999 until 2006 and appeared in 179 consecutive matches between 2001–06, striking up a fruitful partnership with fellow Feyenoord teammate Salomon Kalou.

He left Feyenoord after three years, having scored 71 league goals in 101 appearances, and joined Premier League side Liverpool for £10 million.He made his Premier League debut late in 2006 and immediately became part of the first team squad. He scored in his first ever UEFA Champions League final with Liverpool against AC Milan, with Kuyt offering late hope for Liverpool although eventually losing 2–1.

Kuyt scored several important goals for Liverpool elsewhere too, including seven goals in the 2007-08 Champions League tournament, including a goal in the quarter final against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium & in the semi final against Chelsea, two penalty kicks against Everton in the derby the same season. He scored his first "Hat-Trick" for Liverpool against Manchester United on March 6th 2011.

Kuyt has drawn plaudits for his exceptional work-rate during his time at Liverpool and has won-over his critics with first-class commitment and a never-say-die attitude. Kuyt has a 100% penalty record for Liverpool, and takes spot kicks in the absence of club captain Steven Gerrard.

Kuyt signed professionally for FC Utrecht that summer, aged 18, and immediately established himself in the first team.Sometimes He played as striker. However he was more often than not played as a winger, as they preferred to play Serbian Igor Gluščević up front.

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