Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughIf only Suarez would take after his predecessor - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough If only Suarez would take after his predecessor - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

If only Suarez would take after his predecessor

Even those who are not Liverpool fans will confess to nursing an admiration for the selfless, determined Dutchman who laboured on their right flank for six years donning the number 7 jersey that Luis Suarez seems intent on disgracing.

Dirk Kuyt, while not endowed with the sleek feet of his successor, was one of the Reds’ model professionals both on and off the field. He endeared himself to the Kop on arrival by walking up to the terraces and applauding the fans after each game. Few footie professionals are as deeply involved in charity work on a personal level as Kuyt is.

He may never have hit the prolific form that he enjoyed in Feyenoord where he scored more than 20 goals every season until he left, but his harrying of defenders and midfielders created space for attackers like Fernando Torres. The Spanish striker no doubt owed many of his 24 goals in the 2007-08 season to Dirk Kuyt’s endeavour. And that’s not to say he forgot how to score when he swapped Rotterdam for Liverpool. Though he wasn’t as prolific as during the heady Feyernoord days, Kuyt developed a habit of scoring important goals. He is the only Liverpool player who scored in the 2006-07 Champions League final though it ended in defeat for the Reds. Kuyt was a constant thorn in the flesh of the premiership’s big guns, scoring regularly against Manchester United, Chelsea and local rivals Everton.

Despite his obvious desire to stay, Liverpool decided to cash in on the 32-year-old while they still could with Turkish outfit Fenerbahce benefitting from the arguably paltry one million pound release clause in Kuyt’s contract. And as fate would have it, while Liverpool might just qualify for the Europa league next season, Kuyt has the chance to win it this year. Fener are odds on to complete the job against Benfica and make it to the Europa final where Kuyt could meet a familiar face. Chelsea, steered by Kuyt’s former manager Rafael Benitez, are similarly well-placed to make it to the final, holding a 2-1 advantage over FC Basel. While Blues fans pour scorn on the Spaniard at every opportunity, Kuyt credits him as a ‘..big influence on my career’ and ‘…one of the best managers I have ever worked with’. If things go as planned and the Turkish up-and-comers lift the Europa trophy, one hopes that Liverpool’s current number 7 will take note of how much more he can achieve if he loses the drama and gains focus. Hopefully the reported tongue-lashing Suarez’s wife gave him will work a treat.