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Five of the best moments from Dirk Kuyt's Liverpool career

The best moment of Dirk Kuyt's career may have come on Sunday after his hat trick guided Feyenoord to their first Eredivisie title in 18 years.

The 36-year-old announced his retirement from football on Wednesday, bowing out of the game as a champion, but the forward is still fondly remembered at Liverpool for a stellar six seasons.

The Dutch forward joined Liverpool from Feyenoord in the summer of 2006, where his relentless work-rate and important goals made him a fan favourite. In total, Kuyt made 285 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 71 goals before he left for Fenerbahce in June 2012.

Here, ESPN FC picks out five of Kuyt's best moments in a Liverpool shirt.

5. His goal against Inter Milan in the Champions League

Kuyt stepped up at a time when Liverpool and manager Rafael Benitez needed him most. In the first leg of a round-of-16 tie in 2008, 10-man Inter were standing firm at Anfield until Kuyt's strike five minutes from time gave Liverpool an important advantage. It wasn't the prettiest of goals, with his scuffed effort bouncing over Julio Cesar, but important nonetheless.

Steven Gerrard doubled the lead three minutes later to relieve the pressure on Benitez, who was feeling the heat from American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. And Liverpool went on to win 3-0 on aggregate -- eventually losing to Chelsea in the semifinals.

4. Putting Liverpool into the Champions League final

Kuyt put Liverpool into their second Champions League final within the space of three seasons in 2007, holding his nerve from the spot in a penalty shootout with Chelsea in the semifinal second leg at Anfield.

The forward thought he had won the tie in extra-time when he scored, only to see the linesman's flag raised for offside.

"I think it was a clear goal," Kuyt recalled. "But to finish the game with penalties and to have the opportunity to take the penalty that could take you to the final of the Champions League is a memory that I will never forget."

Liverpool lost 2-1 to AC Milan in the Athens final, with Kuyt scoring a late consolation goal.

3. His invaluable cameo in the League Cup final

The Carling Cup in 2012 is the only trophy Kuyt lifted during his time at Liverpool. He came off the bench in extra-time to put Liverpool 2-1 up over Cardiff City in the 108th minute with a reactive finish, until Ben Turner's late equaliser forced a shootout.

After Charlie Adam and Steven Gerrard both missed for Liverpool, Kuyt converted to put Liverpool on their way to their first trophy since 2006.

Kuyt bids farewell to the Liverpool fans in 2012.

2. Scoring two penalties in a frantic Merseyside derby

The 2007 Merseyside derby was arguably the most dramatic encounter between the two sides. Steven Gerrard was controversially substituted for Lucas Leiva, while Everton had two players sent off, with referee Mark Clattenburg not taking charge of another fixture involving the Blues for over four years.

In the midst of all the madness, Kuyt kept cool from the penalty spot on two occasions, netting the winning spot kick to seal a 2-1 victory deep into injury time.

However, Kuyt could consider himself fortunate to have not have been dismissed when his flying lunge on Phil Neville was only deemed to be a yellow-card offence by Clattenburg.

1. His hat trick against Manchester United

At Anfield in March 2011, Kuyt became the first Liverpool player since Peter Beardsley in 1990 to net a treble against United, largely thanks to the brilliance of Luis Suarez.

His first goal was a tap-in after a dribble from Suarez in which he evaded four United players; then, to put Liverpool 2-0 up, Suarez's cross was headed by Nani into the Dutch striker's path.

To complete the hat trick, Kuyt followed in to score on the rebound of a Suarez free kick, meaning all three of his goals came from inside the six-yard box.

"The hat-trick in 2011 is [a memory] that I will never forget -- thanks for that Mr. Suarez!" Kuyt said.

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.


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