SUPER sub Dirk Kuyt ended his long wait for a first trophy with Liverpool and admitted: “Being a winner is so sweet.”
The Dutchman made a big impact after coming off the bench in the Carling Cup final against Cardiff City at Wembley.
Kuyt fired the Reds into a 2-1 lead in extra time and then produced a stunning goalline clearance, only for Ben Turner to net a last-gasp equaliser for the Bluebirds.
In the shootout Kuyt once again proved himself to be the man for the big occasion as he coolly netted from the spot.
Having lost the Champions League final with Liverpool in 2007 and the World Cup final with Holland in 2010, Kuyt was relieved to finally get his hands on some silverware.
“I’ve been at Liverpool nearly six years now and I came to Anfield to win trophies,” he said.
“All that matters is trophies and this feels like a gold medal.
“If you want to be remembered as a football player you need to win trophies. You can say the Carling Cup is not the most important trophy but for me today it is the most important one.
“I lost the Champions League final and lost the World Cup final so to win the Carling Cup means something very special for me. I am really pleased with the performance we gave and hopefully we will back here at Wembley again soon.
“Wembley is now a special place for me. To be involved in a final here, score and play an important part is something I won’t forget for the rest of my life.”
Kuyt believes Liverpool’s “belief” pulled them through as they recovered from missing their first two penalties through Steven Gerrard and Charlie Adam to finally overcome the plucky Championship club.
“We never stopped believing and that is why we have won the trophy,” said Kuyt.
“Even when Steven missed his penalty I said to him we would still get back into it as there were a number of penalties to be taken and we have a fantastic goalkeeper. I knew when it came to my penalty that I had to score.
“It was just unbelievable really. To score a goal in extra time, you think you are going to have a great chance to settle the game.
“To score that goal was amazing and then when I made that clearance off the line I thought ‘this is it’ but all credit to Cardiff.
“They worked really hard and scored the equaliser just before the end of extra time and we had to take penalties.
“The most important thing in football is belief and we showed today we have that in the squad. It’s a great day for us. I believed in myself and I think the team believed in themselves as well.
“I had my family and friends over from Holland, and I think there were maybe 35 people over today. It was a great day for them, and a great day for us.”
Kuyt wants to ensure Liverpool use winning the Carling Cup for a record eighth time as a launchpad for further success.
“This trophy is really important for the future of Liverpool Football Club,” he said.
“Everyone has been waiting for this trophy, myself included.
“Now we’ve won one, hopefully there will be many more to follow.
“I think the way we won this trophy by beating Stoke away, Chelsea away and then Man City over two legs, shows we can compete with the best.
“It’s a massive step forward for this club. Hopefully we can get another cup for the club this season. There is still a long way to go and a lot to play for.”