Former top footballer Dirk Kuijt is going to divorce his wife Gertrude after a relationship of 22 years and a marriage of 17 years, he confirms on Saturday in an interview with De Telegraaf .

Kuijt, 39, says that there is no question of a dividing fungus between him and his wife, but that the fire of the relationship has gone out.

"It is a sad situation in which the family and I find ourselves. Both Gertrude and I have to deal with it separately and I must ensure that it also gets a good place for the children," said the 104-time Orange international, who has four children with Gertrude.

Kuijt argues that he lived his football career in 2017 and that life is different now. "I wanted to make many people happy, I wanted to let as many friends and family members enjoy as possible."

However, such a lifestyle also had a downside, says Kuijt. "After my career I notice that a lot of robbery has taken place on myself and on the family. I notice that I am mainly looking for peace ..."

Dirk Kuijt and Gertrude during the 2014 World Cup. (Photo: Pro Shots)

"Then you find out you're losing yourself"

Kuijt played for the Orange from 2004 to 2014. At club level he was active for FC Utrecht, Feyenoord, Liverpool, Fenerbahçe and again Feyenoord, with which he became national champion in his last game as a pro in 2017. Subsequently, the Katwijker immediately started with a trainer course.

"Another would perhaps be on the field for one evening at Quick Boys, I was immediately there three nights and was there at the game on Saturday. I just have that drive to do everything to the maximum. And then you come to it one moment behind that you lose yourself. "

Three years ago, Kuijt's family life was highlighted in the documentary KUYT by director Deborah van Dam, for which she followed him in the eventful season 2016/2017 during the matches at Feyenoord, the hours on the spare bench and at home with Gertrude and his children. The documentary was seen on television by two million viewers.