Dirk Kuyt retires from international football

Dirk Kuyt scores his penalty in the shootout against Costa Rica in the 2014 World Cup quarter finals. Picture: Getty
Dirk Kuyt scores his penalty in the shootout against Costa Rica in the 2014 World Cup quarter finals. Picture: Getty
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DIRK Kuyt has announced his retirement from international football after a 10-year career during which he won over 100 caps, saying he felt he no longer had a role to play in the Netherlands national team.

Kuyt, who signed for Liverpool for £10 million in 2006, showed his versatility during the 2014 World Cup, appearing in a several positions as the Dutch side reached the tournament’s semi-finals.

But Kuyt, 34, told newspapers in his homeland that had decided to end his involvement with the national side after holding talks with new coach Guus Hiddink.

The Fenerbahçe forward told Algemeen Dagblad and De Telegraaf: “I still want to be relevant on the field but feel the coach no longer has the role for me that I want.

“That’s why I think it is best to retire.”

The ex-Feyenoord player won 105 caps for the Oranje, appeared at five tournaments and scored 24 goals in the process.

Kuyt, who joined Fenerbahçe in 2012 after six years at Anfield, has held several crunch talks with Hiddink in the past few days, and said he had decided to call it a day after discussions last weekend.

“It would be have easy to stop after a successful World Cup but I still felt fit. And the coach wanted to keep me. That’s why I continued but on condition that I felt good about the role I would be given,” Kuyt continued.

“But against the Czechs it became clear to me that the choice of attackers fell more towards the youngsters. That left me with a support role. I have to be honest: I’m 34 years old and I don’t have the energy to sit for two more years on the bench and rarely play.”

Kuyt, who made his debut against Liechtenstein, and last played in the friendly match against Italy, was an unused substitute as the Netherlands fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic in Prague last month, in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign opener.

He was included in the preliminary squad for the upcoming matches against Kazakhstan and Iceland, along with Robin van Persie, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Jeremain Lens.

He added that Hiddink could call him up in an emergency to provide cover.

Kuyt’s departure from the international scene may open the door for Twente youngster Luc Castaignos, PSV Eindhoven’s 21-year-old striker Jürgen Locadia or Saint-Étienne’s former Norwich hitman Ricky van Wolfswinkel.