Dirk Kuyt: "First Benitez, then me"
Monday 09 February 2009
Dirk Kuyt says that an extension
of his contract will depend on his manager Rafael Benitez
signing a new deal with Liverpool: "It's my intention
to stay longer at Liverpool. But there's been some interference
on the line with the problems surrounding the new contract
of the manager. Only when he has signed a new deal will
we get to my contract."
Kuyt's current contract expires
in the summer of 2010.
The Liverpool striker says he's
very happy at Liverpool and that he enjoys playing with
top stars like Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard every
"The attention they attract
from defenders leaves me a lot of space to operate in,"
Kuyt said on Sunday.
In an interview on Dutch TV the
Holland international spoke on a wide range of subjects.
Kuyt has been a tremendous overachiever
throughout his career.
When he was transferred from his
amateur club Quick
Boys to Utrecht expectation was that the Eredivisie
was a step too high for the mildly talented striker.
Kuyt became an instant success
at Utrecht and earned himself a transfer to Feyenoord.
Then too newspapers wrote that
Feyenoord would surely be one step above his level,
but in Rotterdam Kuyt was a key player for three seasons
and became topscorer of the Eredivisie with 29 goals
It earned him a transfer to Liverpool
and - of course - it was again expected that Dirkie
had really reached too high this time.
Despite many Liverpool fans wondering
just why he was signed he has hardly been out of Rafael
Benitez' squad in the last two seasons, he was capped
48 times for Holland and he scored many key goals for
his club and country.
"If you want to know why Dirk
Kuyt is a top player you'll have to ask the defenders
who have to play against him. They all say they absolute
hate marking him," says former PSV and Glasgow
Rangers keeper Ronald Waterreus, now a pundit for Dutch
Although Waterreus admitted not
to be a great fan of Kuyt he said: "As a defender
you don't get one second of rest when you play against
him. He's at it for 90 minutes, he defends well and
he can score goals. When you're a regular at Liverpool
you have to be doing something right."
On Wednesday Kuyt is a good candidate
to be the center forward when Holland play a friendly
against Tunisia and it's a role he relishes.
"I like being the number 9
and with Van Persie, Sneijder, Robben and Van der Vaart
around me it's really possible to do well. But it's
up to the coach of course," says Kuyt, who has
a good relationship with Holland boss Bert van Marwijk.
"Well he was my coach when
I came to Feyenoord and it always worked well. He gave
me a lot of confidence from my first day in Rotterdam
and it's been that way ever since."
Kuyt revealed that he hasn't always
been on good terms with Van Marwijk's predecessor Marco
van Basten, especially after Van Basten dropped Kuyt
for a trip to Thailand in 2007.
At the time Kuyt was going through
a difficult period in his life due to the illness of
his father and his performance on the pitch were suffering
"I had expected a bit more
credit after having been a member of the squad for three
years and the boss knowing what the situation was. But
Van Basten just sent me a text message that he would
not name me and that was it. Afterwards I spoke to him
on the phone and we moved on. That was it."
For Wednesday's game Kuyt most
of all to stay free of injuries as he knows how Benitez
is always terrified when his players leave on international
"But he has some reason to
be as Torres came back injured from a game with Spain
the last three times. We are in a very important phase
with Liverpool so coming back in one piece would be