Dirk Kuyt has revealed how his former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard has inspired him into football management.
The 38-year-old played alongside Gerrard at Liverpool between 2006 to 2012, where he managed 71 goals and 40 assists in 285 appearances across all competitions with his sole piece of silverware coming in the Reds’ EFL Cup triumph in his final campaign.
After leading boyhood club Feyenoord to their first Eredivisie title in 18 years, Kuyt retired from football in 2017 and has taken charge of the U-19 team this season.
It’s a similar route to the one that Gerrard undertook himself, when he started out as a youth coach for Liverpool before leaving for Scottish Premiership (SPL) side Rangers last summer.
The former Reds captain has since overseen 23 wins and just seven defeats in his 45 matches in charge of Rangers, who sit second in the SPL table.
And Kuyt, who could in line to replace the departing Giovanni van Bronckhorst as manager of the Feyenoord first-team for next season, praised Gerrard for his exploits over the past year.
“We all choose our own path and on the way you have to find out if you are capable of doing the job,” Kuyt told the Daily Mirror.
“When Steven Gerrard had only just become a youth coach at Liverpool, after his retirement, we spoke about the road he was going to follow.
“Steven was absolutely determined to leave Liverpool for a while.
“He wanted to develop himself as a manager and coach away from the spotlight of the Premier League. It meant he had to leave England.
“Glasgow Rangers is a massive club. It will be Steven’s dream to become Liverpool manager one day.
“But to get there he is very much following his own path.”
During his playing days, Kuyt won the Dutch Footballer of the Year prize in 2006 and played a key role in Holland’s route to the final of the 2010 World Cup, which they lost to Spain in South Africa.