Dirk Kuyt ends playing career in style

Dirk Kuyt brought his playing career to an end on Sunday in a gala performance at De Kuip. In his testimonial, Kuyt netted a last minute penalty, a fitting finale for the player who enjoyed a glittering career at the top of the game and became a club icon at Feyenoord.

The goal was the culmination of a day of unique experiences, including a show by DJ duo W&W, a match involving the sons of the former internationals Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart, Ruud van Nistelrooy, John Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen and Dirk Kuyt, and of course the testimonial match itself.

Friends old and new
For a lot of players, including Jerzy Dudek, Ron Vlaar and Terence Kongolo, the Dirk Kuyt Testimonial was an opportunity to olay at De Kuip again. Others, like Steven Gerrard, Wesley Sneijder and Phillip Cocu, came to De Kuip specially to honour Kuyt.

When it got started, the action on the pitch certainly lived up to expectations, with some great goals from all sides. ‘Team Friends of Dirk’ overcame ‘Team Feyenoord’ 3-2 before the break, with goals from Pierre Webó, Andy Carroll and Luis Garcia. Pierre van Hooijdonk and Denny Landzaat scored for the ‘hosts’.

Next up for ‘Team Feyenoord’ was ‘Team Oranje’, featuring Robin van Persie. The striker bagged two goals for the former internationals to secure a second 3-2 win, in spite of a fantastic equaliser from Bilal Basaçikoglu. But the final word was left to the man whose day it was.

Uplifting departure
Referee Pieter Vink awarded a penalty after a foul by Heitinga, giving Kuyt an opportunity to finish with a goal. He kept his head, beating Edwin van der Sar was a strike in the bottom right-hand corner. 

Kuyt then enjoyed a lap of honour with his family as De Kuip rose in unison to salute the man who has served the club so well. The superstars who had come to Rotterdam for him – not forgetting coaches Ronald Koeman, Ruud Gullit and Louis van Gaal – formed a line of honour in front of the tunnel to wave him out.

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