Johan Cruyff says Holland are “blessed” to have Dirk Kuyt in their side as his heat map goes viral

Could Dirk Kuyt emerge as one of the unlikely stars of the 2014 World Cup?

The former Liverpool star played no part in Holland’s opening two World Cup matches and then there was surprise all round when Louis van Gaal played him left back for the 2-0 group stage win over Chile.

Despite being known as a striker or right-sided forward for the duration of his career, LVG has started to use Kuyt as a left back or wing back in a 5-3-2 in order to utilise his stamina and strength.

In the humid heat of Fortaleza on Sunday, against a Mexican side that should have had an advantage with the conditions, Kuyt was deployed all over the park, starting on the left again but also playing right back as well.

As a result, the 33-year-old has received the highest possible praise for a Dutch player – from 1974 World Cup legend Johan Cruyff.

Cruyff told De Telegraaf today: “You’re blessed when you’ve got someone like him. Tactically you can go in all directions with Kuyt.”

It would now be a major surprise were Kuyt to be dropped for the quarter-final against Costa Rica and his high energy style could prove to be crucial in the latter stages of the competition.

Heat maps, now de riguer when it comes to football statistics, were also pulled out to show Dirk Kuyt’s amazing display in Fortaleza – see that and some Tweets below…

Perhaps that mooted move to Manchester United on the weekend was not so fanciful!

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