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Dirk Kuyt will play in the red and white of Feyenoord again next season after signing a one-year deal at his home in Istanbul. The 34-year-old did so in the presence of technical director Martin van Geel, who flew into the Turkish capital to complete the signing. The popular striker returns to Feyenoord almost a decade after leaving De Kuip.
After penning the contract, Kuyt expressed his delight at the move. ‘It is the conclusion of nine great years abroad. I have had three wonderful years here in Turkey and won everything there is to win. It is now a good time to return. I’m in peak condition and I feel a great drive to make a success of my time at De Kuip. Hopefully there will be one difference from my first period. I really want to win something now.’
The news was greeted with cheers by his four children, who only heard about their relocation to the Netherlands after Kuyt signed his contract. ‘It says a lot about the role Feyenoord plays in our family,’ said the striker. ‘We watch Feyenoord games on TV when we can and our children have been wearing Feyenoord shirts for years. This is fantastic for me, but just as good for my family, who now return to the Netherlands and our favourite club.’
Technical director Van Geel expressed his pleasure at landing the striker. ‘This is a great day for Feyenoord and the fans. We are delighted that Dirk has returned to us. I have every confidence the he will be a very big player for the club. We have agreed a one-year contract, but that does not say everything about the intentions of both parties. Dirk can continue for many years. He feels he can become Feyenoord’s Ryan Giggs and we can add on a lot of extra years. I think this will be music to the ears of everyone connected with Feyenoord.’
Kuyt earned a place in fans’ hearts between 2003 and 2006, becoming one of the club’s most popular players this century. He started scoring goals almost as soon as he pulled on the shirt, finishing as the Eredivisie’s sharpest shooter in 2004-2005. He was voted player of the year in the Netherlands in 2006.
His hard work and willingness to fight for the cause clearly endeared Kuyt to the fans, who continue to have good memories of the striker. Indeed, Kuyt has been embraced by fans everywhere he has played.
After leaving De Kuip Kuyt experienced success at Liverpool and Fenerbahçe, and in the Dutch national team. He played for Liverpool in the 2007 Champions League final and made the World Cup final in 2010, getting to the semi-final four years later.