Liverpool midfielder Dirk Kuyt can't wait for the Merseyside derby this weekend.

The Dutch international has a history of being the man for the big occasion, with some vital Barclays Premier League against the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal.

However, it's performances against Everton that have helped make the versatile 31-year-old a firm favourite with the Anfield faithful, and Kuyt will be looking to add to his five goals against the Toffees on Saturday.

"It's a game I really enjoy. As a football player you always look forward to the biggest games," Kuyt told the official Liverpool magazine.

"You enjoy the atmosphere, the pressure and the expectation. It's why you become a professional. Liverpool v Everton is one of the biggest games of the season and when you win, especially away at Goodison Park, it is one of the best feelings.

"The thing I really like about the Merseyside derby is that the game is fast and physical and you quite often have one or two strong tackles on the pitch. But, at the end of the game, the players shake hands."

Ironically, two of Kuyt's five goals could have gone to Andriy Voronin, with the Ukranian international passing on penalty duties in the hostile away atmosphere.


 

With Everton down to nine-men, Kuyt kept his head to secure a famous victory, and it's a moment the Dutchman remembers well in his football career.

"In my second year as a Liverpool player, it was a really tough game and the breaks went our way. I remember Rafa read out his list of penalty takers before the game and I was second choice. Andriy Voronin was first on the list," he recalls.

"When the referee gave the first penalty, Andriy came to me and asked whether I wanted it because he didn't feel too confident. I said: 'No problem...I'll take it.'

"I was so happy to score the first one and when the second one came around, I didn't hesitate. You know that if you miss it, you probably draw the game but it feels like a loss because it's in the last minute.

"To score the winner; it was one of the best feelings I've experienced in my Liverpool career."

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