Salomon Kalou, the son of a teacher, was a talented and technically gifted footballer. He began his career in his native Ivory Coast playing for ASEC Mimosas where he first landed at the age of twelve. The club boasts a world renowned academy which has produced the likes of Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboué and Didier Zokora.
Looking back on his time there he said: 'I arrived there when I was twelve. Left my home and my family. They were now four hours away' says Kalou. 'I did not see much of my family once I was there. We would maybe get one day off a week and a four-hour journey was too much if I had to get there back in a day. So we all spent a lot of time together; became great friend.'
He soon was making a name for himself with his performances which quickly caught the eye of a number of European clubs, among them Auxerre, where his brother Bonaventure was playing, and Feyenoord. He would eventually sign for the Dutch side, spending much of his first year in Rotterdam on loan at Excelsior.
Dirk Kuyt, a fisherman's son, on the other hand, was somewhat of a late bloomer. Underrated and not much thought of in his early years of playing organised football.
Describing his experiences to the Daily Mail, he said: 'Even then, though, I knew I would have to work hard to get anywhere. I started playing for my local club in Katwijk aan See, a club called Quick Boys, and people always told me the best I could ever hope for was playing first team football for them. “You're a good player,” they'd say. But that's the most you can hope to achieve.”'
Even when he was at FC Utrecht he had his doubters but again rose to the challenge of proving them wrong over the course of five years where he scored 51 goals in 160 appearances. He secured a €1 million Euro move to Feyenoord in 2003.
But their partnership was not to last for a longer period of time. Rafael
Their partnership between 2004 and 2006 may not have brought many trophies but it did bring new life to the Eredivisie that was dominated by Ajax and PSV year on year. However there were talks of a possible reunion after Dirk Kuyt returned to Feyenoord this season. Who knows, maybe we will be saying K2 dominating the scoring charts again.