You can spend a lifetime searching for the right words, the right tone, the right way to express your feelings.
But sometimes, the simple message can be the most powerful.
So as Dirk Kuyt set about establishing himself as a Liverpool FC favourite, almost a decade ago now, one banner on The Kop stood out above all others.
'Dirk Kuyt works hard,' it read.
He certainly did. He also scored goals. Big ones, in big games. He scored for Liverpool in each of the Champions League knockout rounds, including the final. He scored in the League Cup final, he scored in Merseyside derbies, against Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Inter Milan, you name it. No wonder another famous banner declared him a 'Working Class Hero.'
Now 35, he's still scoring goals. He has 19 for Feyenoord so far this season, having returned to his former club last summer. He's as loved at the De Kuip stadium as he is at Anfield.
Kuyt, who made 285 appearances for Liverpool between 2006 and 2012, hopes to help Feyenoord end an eight-year wait for a trophy this season.
He does, though, still keep a close eye on events on Merseyside, as the ECHO discovered when we caught up with him for this exclusive Q&A...
Firstly Dirk, how are things at Feyenoord – are you enjoying life back in Holland?
It's good, thank you. After being abroad for 10 years, I was happy to come back to Feyenoord. I always said that I wanted to come back one day, and finally it happened last year.
It's good to be back in Holland, it's good to play for this club again.
Things were going very well before the winter break, but after it we have struggled a bit with a few defeats. But we have won the last four games in a row, and we are into the cup final. That's a big thing because we haven't won a trophy since 2008.
Do you keep in touch with Liverpool? Do you get the chance to get back over much?
Yes, I am still in touch with a couple of the players. I have also still got two houses over in Liverpool, which I am renting, so I have contacts there.
I still follow Liverpool, I'm still a fan of the club, who tries to follow them as much as possible.
The game tonight is especially big, as was the game last week. These are exciting games, big European nights and especially with it being against Man U, the biggest rival. It's a big thing.
I've been texting a lot with my friends in Liverpool since the draw was made.
There aren't many people left at the club from when you were there...
No! Not too many. It's changed a lot. Lucas, Martin Skrtel and a few of the staff are still there. But a lot has changed since I left!
I mentioned this when Stevie Gerrard played his charity game at Anfield last year - it's amazing that since I left the club in 2012, so much has changed.
It was good to be back over for that game, though, and it is always nice to follow the club and to keep in touch with my friends over there. The place will always be special to me.
Obviously tonight there's a rather important game at Old Trafford. You played in a few big European nights when you were at Liverpool, can you give us an insight into just how special they are?
For me, the European nights were the most amazing nights I had at Liverpool, especially at Anfield. I still have great memories from that time.
It's a bit strange, because normally the derbies against Manchester United and Everton are played at 3 o'clock or 1 o'clock, but now it's a night game and a European game. I think that makes the atmosphere even more amazing.
I watched the game at Anfield at home last week, and I could feel the atmosphere through the television! It was a shame I couldn't be there, but it looked like a great night. Hopefully it will be the same tomorrow!
And I'm sure you'll enjoy this one; your memories of playing against Manchester United?
I have some great ones! The hat-trick in 2011 is one that I will never forget – thanks for that Mr. Suarez!
But also the goal in the FA Cup the following year, when I came on as a sub at Anfield and scored late on. That was a great moment.
Equally, I have great memories of the game at Old Trafford in 2009 when we won 4-1. I wasn't really involved in the goals that day, but it was an incredible day for us.
Overall, I always loved playing in these games. They were always special, and the tension was always so high.
The feeling when you win against United is incredible. Hopefully, the lads will have that feeling tonight.
What have you made of Liverpool's progress this season, particularly since Jurgen Klopp took over?
It's an exciting time. They have a new manager, and one who has done some great things at his previous clubs. Hopefully he can do the same at Liverpool.
We have seen some pretty exciting games under him, for example the great game at Manchester City which they won. It's always difficult for a manager to come in during the season, but there have been some really good performances.
It was sad to see them lose the League Cup final, because I thought they deserved more, but I think the future looks good for the club.
There is still a lot to play for this season, of course, but I am really excited for the next seasons too. I think they're going to do really well.
He looks like the sort of manager players would love playing under....
It's difficult for me to speak about him as a person, because I'm too far away from the situation.
But from what I can see, the way he's involved with the game, his emotions and the way he talks and celebrates with his players, it looks good. It looks like he is connecting the players with the manager, and that is always something that is very good to see.
I am excited for the future. For the short term, it will be interesting to see if they can win some silverware this season, but in the long term it should also be very exciting.
You mention the connection between the manager and the players, but what about the connection with the supporters too? You were always a fans' favourite at Anfield, how did that feel?
The support is vital for the club. For me as a player it was amazing from the very first day I arrived at Anfield. I will never forget my debut when I came on against West Ham.
If you feel the support of the Kop and the rest of the supporters, then it gives you a real boost to do well for the club. They are vital, not only for the players but for the manager too. They play a very big part in the success of the club.
As we've said, there's a big game tonight. You always had a reputation as someone who relished those kind of occasions. Were you aware of that, and did you do anything differently for those games?
I always loved those kind of games. Derby games, big European games, games against rivals.
Before I came to Liverpool, I scored in five straight games against Ajax for Feyenoord – the biggest rivals – so it was already going well for me at that time!
When I came to Liverpool, I tried to do the same. I always tried to give everything. Maybe I gave a little bit more in those games. That feeling, to be important and to score important goals in big games, that is what a player wants. It was great for me. We won a lot of games against Everton and United, and also Arsenal and Chelsea in that time too. Great memories, and I am very happy that I played my part in those.
OK this might be a tough one, but if you had to pick a favourite moment from your Liverpool career, what would it be?
It's difficult, because I enjoyed my time so much. If I have to speak about the best moments for me, though, it would have to be a Champions League night at Anfield. Maybe the proudest moment was when we reached the final by beating Chelsea in the penalty shootout, when I scored the winning kick. That was a great season for us in Europe, and we beat a very good team to reach the final – Mourinho's Chelsea.
That night I will never forget. The atmosphere was amazing, the noise was incredible!
And finally Dirk, will you be watching tonight? And who is going through?
Of course! It's an important game for Liverpool, and I always make sure I watch those!
I'm very excited; it's 2-0 but it's a derby game so it will be special. It will be an interesting game, for sure.
United will want to give everything in front of their home crowd, but I'm sure that Liverpool will reach the next stage!
Source: Liverpool Echo
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