Dirk Kuyt reminisces about fond memories of playing Manchester United

The former Liverpool forward admits some of his very best memories from his time at Anfield came in matches against their rivals.

Former Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt has told the Liverpool Echo that he has fond memories of playing in "special" clashes against Manchester United during his time at Anfield.

The Dutchman left Merseyside in 2012 after six years with the club during which he scored 71 goals in 286 matches in all competitions, winning his only trophy at the club, the League Cup, in his final season in England.

His former club face off against United at Old Trafford on Thursday night in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie, with the Reds 2-0 up after a first-leg win in front of their own fans last week.

Kuyt, who scored a famous hat-trick against United in a 3-1 win at Anfield five years ago, told the Echo that clashes against the club's historic rivals were always some of the best to play in during his time wearing a Liverpool shirt.

The 35-year-old said: "I always loved those kind of games . I have some great [memories of playing United]. 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 a 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."

Kuyt is currently enjoying something of an Indian summer in his career back at his former club Feyenoord, whom he now captains, having scored 19 goals in 30 matches, his highest tally in a season since his final campaign in his first spell at the club 10 years ago.

Meanwhile, his former club can reach a first European quarter-final in six years by finishing the job against United at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch