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"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment
dawned."

From:
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football
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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 week.

"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 in 2005.

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 TV.

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 from it.

"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 duty.

"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 welcome yes."

 

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