Dirk Kuyt told the official Fenerbahce magazine, as quoted by Turkish Football, that his success at Liverpool was down to nothing more than hard work – advice some of those currently with the Reds, such as Mario Balotelli, may be advised to listen to.
The 34-year-old, who was a huge fan favourite at Anfield largely due to his work rate, said he had to work continuously on developing his game to become a success at Liverpool and always gave his all.
‘’I worked hard to prove myself at Liverpool,’’ said Kuyt. ‘’I worked and worked and worked, I was always working on developing my game.
‘’I think I did well at Liverpool, I always gave it my all and became a regular for the Netherlands international team.’’
The former Holland international moved to Liverpool in 2006 and in his debut season helped the Reds to a Champions League final, in which they were beaten 2-1 by AC Milan.
He became a popular figure among Reds supporters during his time at the club and was often praised for his work rate and all-round play, especially the defensive side of his game that his outstanding stamina allowed.
Why Balotelli should look to emulate Dirk Kuyt?
Kuyt was never one of the world’s best talents based purely on his ability. However, his work rate more than accommodated any shortfalls he had in his game.
He worked tirelessly for Liverpool and showed what it meant to pull the shirt on every single time he walked out onto the pitch.
In contrast, Balotelli lacks everything Kuyt had, but has everything Kuyt lacked.
Balotelli is a very good footballer with a questionable attitude towards the game, especially when it comes to making himself an option for others on his team.
Although he may never have the unnatural determination and grit Kuyt was able to conjure up so easily, he could at least try to be more like the Dutchman than he currently is.
As the saying goes: ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’.