Liverpool Hero Reveals Why He Almost Missed 2007 Champions League Final Due to Go-Karting Incident

Tom Power

​Liverpool hero Dirk Kuyt has revealed how fellow ex-Reds star Peter Crouch almost ruled him out of action for the club's ill-fated 2007 Champions League final against AC Milan.

The Netherlands legend made the spectacular revelation to ​FourFourTwo magazine as he went into detail about how a go-karting accident involving the lanky striker nearly prevented him from taking part in the 2-1 loss to the Serie A club almost a decade ago.

Speaking about the incident at length, Kuyt said: "I was happy that I was playing in that match at all, as before the final there had been an incident that almost prevented me from taking part. 

Liverpool's Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt scor
Liverpool's Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt scor

"When we were in the training camp before the final, the squad went go-karting. I didn't join in, as I wanted to rest a small injury, but I went along to watch and picked a safe-looking spot to stand beside the track with Rafa.

"Out of nowhere, Peter Crouch drove straight at me at roughly 35 mph. He couldn't brake! The only thing I could do was to jump in the air, and in the end I just managed to jump over Peter, and he crashed into cardboard boxes behind me.

"I was within a whisker of having my ankles torn to pieces, and would surely have missed the Champions League final. It was incredible that I saw him just in time and could jump over him! Crouchy's face was as pale as death, he'd had some kind of blackout. Fortunately everything was alright."

The 36-year-old, who now plays for Feyenoord in his home country, was quizzed on all manner of subjects by the football-only editorial, ranging from deciding who was better between Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez and how many times Steven Gerrard mentions the club's triumphant 2005 Champions League victory!

Kuyt, who scored 71 goals in 286 Liverpool appearances, is heralded for his goalscoring prowess against the club's bitter rivals Manchester United.

When asked whether his 2011 hat-trick against the latter was better than his 88th minute winner against the Red Devils in the 2012 FA Cup final, the Dutchman was at a loss to pick one outright winner.

He added: "Both were special moments, so it would be impossible to pick. The hat-trick was unique. Not many players score three against United, and to do it in a Reds shirt was great. 

"I scored all the goals from close range, and the first came after some great work from Suarez.

"When I scored the winner in the FA Cup 10 months later, it came in a more challenging period, as I wasn’t playing as regularly as I wanted to at the time. Kenny Dalglish gave me the chance to come on with 25 minutes left. 

"To decide the game in that way in front of the Kop was also fantastic."

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