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Dirk Kuyt will officially end his professional playing career on Sunday 27 May 2018. Twelve months after the 37-year-old netted three goals to help Feyenoord secure the Eredivisie title at De Kuip, the Katwijk-born Dutch international will make his farewell appearance at the same stadium in the Dirk Kuyt Testimonial.
The Dirk Kuyt Testimonial will feature a host of former teammates. More details will be announced in due course, but the programme will kick off at 2pm on Sunday 27 May. Dirk Kuyt has chosen three charities he would like to benefit from his testimonial: the Dirk Kuyt Foundation, the Feyenoord Foundation and Support Casper.
‘I am honoured to have something this great organised for me,’ said Kuyt, who will be inviting several former teammates from his time at FC Utrecht, Feyenoord, Liverpool, Fenerbahçe and the Dutch national team to play in his testimonial. ‘This match was discussed with Feyenoord during the talks on my return to Rotterdam. And now it’s really going to happen! It’s fantastic to be able to play in front of the Feyenoord legion at De Kuip again with lots of familiar faces from the past. I’m really looking forward to that day and I love it that I have the chance to bid farewell to my life as a professional footballer in this way. The three charities I feel passionate about make this extra special. Having these charities linked to the match lends extra lustre to the day.’
It’s 35 years ago that a Feyenoord player was awarded a testimonial, which shows just how special the Dirk Kuyt Testimonial is. Club icon Willem van Hanegem was the last Feyenoord player to be given the honour of a testimonial back in 1983. On that occasion he lined up with his 1974 Dutch national side teammates against Feyenoord. Coen Moulijn was also awarded a testimonial. The Uruguay national side were the opponents in 1974.
Feyenoord season ticket holders will have priority access to tickets for the Dirk Kuyt Testimonial. Tickets go on sale at 11am CET on Saturday 31 March. All tickets will be available exclusively from the Feyenoord Ticketshop. Advance orders of a special Feyenoord edition of Jaap de Groot’s book about Dirk Kuyt’s ‘belief in success’ (out on 14 May) will also open at the same time. For full details about tickets and the advance sale of the book, see www.feyenoord.nl/kuyt.
Dirk Kuyt’s final match in his sparkling 19-year career as a professional football player came on 14 May 2017, when Feyenoord beat Heracles 3-1 to win the Eredivisie title. The former striker started out at hometown club Quick Boys and made his professional debut for FC Utrecht in the 1998-1999 season. Five seasons later he moved to Feyenoord, where he topped the club scoring charts three seasons running.
In the summer of 2006 Kuyt made the switch to Liverpool, where he soon become a valuable player. After six years on Merseyside, he joined Fenerbahçe, staying in Istanbul for three seasons before returning to Rotterdam in the summer of 2015. With Feyenoord he won the KNVB Cup in 2016 and last season he crowned his career with the Eredivisie title. Dirk Kuyt also made 104 appearances for the Dutch national side between 2004 and 2014, including the 2010 World Cup final.