Dirk Kuyt closes in on Ian Rush's European goal tally
It took an entire campaign for Dirk Kuyt to open his account in the Champions’ League – now he can’t stop scoring.
So prolific has the Dutch striker been for Liverpool in the last two years that he already has the legendary Ian Rush in his sights on the all time list of European goalscorers at Anfield.
Kuyt needs two against Fiorentina tonight in Italy to catch Rush on 14, and reach the top three in an illustrious Liverpool roll call behind only Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen.
It is a far cry from his first experience in Europe with the Merseyside club, when he couldn’t buy a goal, until - after 11 attempts to get off the mark, he finally found the net in the Champions’ League final of all games, against AC Milan in Athens.
It is, he admits, a confusing experience. “I’m not sure why it has suddenly gone so well for me. In my first games in the Champions League I couldn’t score at all.
“I think I went the whole campaign without a goal, and then I got one in the final against AC Milan and really, it has just gone on for me since then.
“It’s an incredible experience. I think I have scored in every stage of the competition now and I am enjoying it. I just want to keep going. I have confidence in these games, and going into them, it’s always a great experience to be involved in big Champions League nights.”
After his initial experience, Kuyt has become Liverpool’s most deadly finisher in Europe, his record of 12 goals in his last 25 games in this competition outstripping even Fernando Torres at the head of the scoring charts.
Two more, and the Holland international will catch Rush on the list, and he accepts that would be an almost humbling experience, given the status of the Welsh striker.
“I think it’s unbelievable I’m so close to Ian Rush. To have the chance maybe draw level on goals with someone like him is unbelievable,” Kuyt explained.
“He is one of the biggest names in the history of the Liverpool Football Club and it would give me a great feeling if I could manage to do that. I have to be respectful of his achievements in his career, but it would be good to match his goals and then maybe continue scoring.
“It is nice to get personal things, but for me the most important thing is winning trophies together. The milestones are nice, but if you don’t have anything to go with them like a trophy then it is not the same. Don’t get me wrong individual honours are nice, but it is all about the team winning.”
Not that Kuyt has any illusions about his place in the Anfield pecking order when it comes to goals. Torres is the undoubted star, and his Liverpool team-mates all marvel at such an incredible talent.
“It is great to have a player like Fernando in your team because they can score the most amazing goals at any moment in the game and that gives you huge confidence,” Kuyt added.
“I was standing here two weeks ago and people were questioning Fernando because he hadn’t scored in two games in a row and how he has five in his last two league games. He speaks with his feet!
“I knew how good he was but playing behind him you learn where he wants the ball and the understanding is even better. Honestly, he makes it easy for all of us.”
anyone knows where will be showing the liverpool v florentina match tmr morning? thinking of catching it live.. or is it available on streaming?