Before the World Cup, Dirk Kuyt announced that he would retire from international play at the end of the tournament after a decade of representing the Netherlands. As the Dutch put together an impressive run to the semifinals, Kuyt won his 100th cap and converted penalties in the team's successful quarterfinal shootout against Costa Rica and unsuccessful semifinal shootout against Argentina.
Though Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal said that the third-place match "should never be played," it had special meaning for Kuyt as it would be his last with the team. He started the match and his send-off began brilliantly when the Dutch claimed a 2-0 lead in just the 16th minute. Shortly before halftime, Kuyt suffered a gash on his head after taking an elbow that dyed his hair red above the ear. Some players would have packed it in at that point, especially since this was only a match to determine the answer to a trivia question, but Dirk Kuyt doesn't play that way.
The former Liverpool man had the Netherlands' physio staple his oozing head shut and finished out the game.
The Netherlands won 3-0 to add one last indignity to Brazil's horrible World Cup and Kuyt finished out his international career by collecting his bronze medal with fashionable red highlights in his blond hair.
- Sports & Recreation
- Dirk Kuyt