Football: Veteran Kuyt quits Dutch team as playing prospects dim

Netherlands' midfielder Dirk Kuyt (right) challenges Brazil's midfielder Willian during the third place play-off football match between Brazil and Netherlands during the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the National Stadium in Brasilia on July 12, 2014. Kuyt a
Netherlands' midfielder Dirk Kuyt (right) challenges Brazil's midfielder Willian during the third place play-off football match between Brazil and Netherlands during the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the National Stadium in Brasilia on July 12, 2014. Kuyt announced his retirement from international football on Friday, Oct 3, 2014, after 104 caps for the Netherlands. -- PHOTO: AFP

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dirk Kuyt announced his retirement from international football on Friday after 104 caps for the Netherlands, saying he felt he no longer had a role to play in the team.

The veteran forward, who proved both his durability and versatility in several positions at the World Cup as the Dutch reached the semi-finals in Brazil in July, told newspapers he had made his decision after talks with new coach Guus Hiddink.

"I still want to be relevant on the field but feel the coach no longer has the role for me that I want," he told both De Telegraaf and Algemeen Dagblad on Friday. "That's why I think it is best to retire."

He said he has had several meetings with Hiddink and made a decision after their last discussion last weekend. "After those talks I decided to call it a day.

"It would be have easy to stop after a successful World Cup but I still felt fit. And the coach wanted to keep me. That's why I continued but on condition that I felt good about the role I would be given.

"But against the Czechs it became clear to me that the choice of attackers fell more towards the youngsters. That left me with a support role. I have to be honest: I'm 34 years old and I don't have the energy to sit for two more years on the bench and rarely play," he added.

The Netherlands lost 0-2 to the Czech Republic in Prague last month in their opening Euro 2016 qualifier.

Kuyt emphasised Hiddink could always call him up in an emergency.

Kuyt, who plays for Fenerbahce in Turkey, competed at five tournaments and scored 24 goals for the Dutch. He made his debut in 2004 against Liechtenstein and last played in the friendly against Italy last month.