Feyenoord have announced that Dirk Kuyt has retired after inspiring the club to their first Eredivisie title in 18 years.
The 36-year-old club captain has been a crucial figure in Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side this season and scored all three goals in the 3-1 win over Heracles that clinched their first title since 1998-99.
The club confirmed on Wednesday that Kuyt will now focus on studying to take up a non-playing role in Rotterdam, under the guidance of technical director Martin van Geel.
Kuyt “made a personal announcement on Wednesday morning to head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst, that he will continue training for the next few days and then stop playing football” the club said via a statement.
— Feyenoord Rotterdam (@Feyenoord_int) May 17, 2017
They continued: “Kuyt now focuses on obtaining a position within the technical management of Feyenoord. As such, he will prepare himself for the coming period by undergoing [sports] management courses.
“In addition, Martin van Geel, technical director, will take on the role of mentor to prepare him for such a position.”
Van Geel said of Kuyt: “We are really incredibly grateful to Dirk for what he has meant to Feyenoord over the last two years.
“With his attitude, professionalism and passion, he has added so much to the dressing room, on the pitch and off it.
“We are therefore very pleased that we can keep someone with his experience and attitude at the club. I’m going to train Dirk and I can imagine that he’ll follow me in due course.”
Kuyt began his senior career with Utrecht in 1998 before spending three years with Feyenoord from 2003 to 2006.
He then spent six years with Liverpool, where me made 286 appearances, reached the Champions League final in 2007 and won the EFL Cup in 2011.
3 – Dirk Kuyt is the only Liverpool player to score a Premier League hat-trick v Manchester United (March 2011). Retired. pic.twitter.com/98esZmGOxg
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 17, 2017
He then moved on to Fenerbahce, where he won the Super Lig, the Turkish Cup and the domestic Super Cup. He returned to De Kuip in 2015.
Kuyt won 105 senior caps for Netherlands, helping them to the final, where they were beaten by Spain, in 2010 and to a third-place finish four years later.