I was born and raised in Rotterdam, in the Schiemond area. In my younger years, my ambition was to become a gymnast or acrobat. This changed when I was six years old and my cousin asked me to come to Sparta Rotterdam’s tryouts with him. Sparta Rotterdam invited me to their youth academy where my love for football started to grow.
I had such a good time playing at Sparta Rotterdam that I chose to decline early offers from the top clubs in the Netherlands. But after seven seasons at Sparta I was convinced that a move to Feyenoord would help my development as a player. It would also give me the opportunity to play for a top club in my own hometown.
I joined Feyenoord’s youth team when I was 14 years old. And a few weeks after my 16th I was invited to join the first team’s training camp.
On 8 April 2007, I made my official debut in Feyenoord’s starting line-up in the Eredivisie home match against Groningen.
At the age of 16 and 148 days, I became the youngest player ever to play in Feyenoord’s first team and was chosen as Feyenoord’s man of the match.
On 2 December 2007, I scored my first goal in the Dutch league (Eredivisie) for Feyenoord, against Heracles Almelo in a 6–0 home win.
In the 2008–09 season, I made my official European debut. On 18 September 2008, I debuted in the starting line-up in the UEFA Cup home match against Kalmar FF.
On 2 October 2008, I scored my first European goal for Feyenoord in the return match against Kalmar FF, which resulted in a 1–2 win and a place in the competition’s group stage.
With Feyenoord I had total of 111 appearances in the senior team where I scored 23 goals.
On July 4th I signed a deal with the Dutch club PSV to complete my transfer from Feyenoord.
On 21 August 2011, I scored my first goal for PSV in a 3–0 victory against ADO Den Haag.
After the retirement of Mark van Bommel and the departure of Kevin Strootman in the summer of 2013, I was named PSV’s captain for the 2013–14 Eredivisie season.
Unfortanately, I only played 11 matches that year, scoring four goals, due to a back injury.
For the 2014–15 Eredivisie season, I returned to full fitness and captained PSV to our first Eredivisie title since 2008.
Being named captain and capturing the Dutch title is one of the highlights of my career.
With PSV I had total of 109 appearances in the senior team where I scored 40 goals.
On 11 July 2015, I joined English Premier League club Newcastle United. It was my first move to club outside the Netherlands and a big moment in my career.
I made my debut on 9 August in the first match of the season against Southampton, and I scored my first goal for Newcastle in a 2-2 draw.
One of the most memorable matches in my entire career was on 18 October against Norwich City. I scored four goals in a 6–2 home win becoming only the second Newcastle player ever to score more than three goals in a Premier League match.
I finished the season as Newcastle’s top goal scorer with 11 goals in 38 appearances.
On 22 July 2016, I completed my transfer to Liverpool FC, One of the most iconic clubs in the world.
I made my debut for Liverpool against Arsenal on 14 August 2016 and I scored my first goal for the club in a 6-1 win against Watford on 6 November.
My highlight of the 2017-18 season was scoring against AS Roma in the Champions League semi-final to help us get to the final. Unfortunately we lost the final 1-3 to Real Madrid. This was one of the toughest losses of my career, but it fueled my determination to come back and win.
In the 2018-19 season we gathered 97 points in the Premier League, the most points ever for Liverpool FC. But we came up just one heartbreaking point short for the championship and finished second.
We had won the Champions League, European Supercup and Club World Cup, but we still had not captured the biggest prize of all.Liverpool has been one of the must successful clubs in England but haven’t won a national title since 1990.
Our Premier League campaign got off to an amazing start this season. We took 1st place right from the start and never looked back. We were on pace for a historic year and it seemed like a matter of time before the title would be ours.
But the world was struck by the Coronavirus pandemic and football was suspended indefinitely to secure the health and safety of everyone.
After 3 months of uncertainty if we could finish the season at all, we finally got the word. We would play without fans but the title race was back on!
Two weeks after we resumed play the wait was finally over, after 30 years (and a bit) Liverpool was a Premier League Champion!! It was one of the happiest moments in my career. To be able to give the loyal fans this incredible gift means the world to me
I was invited to play for several Dutch internationals youth squads. I made 56 appearances and scored 19 goals for these teams.
On 2 September 2011 I played in my first match for the Dutch internationals senior team, an incredible honor. I made my debut in an 11-0 win against San Marino where I scored my first goal.
I was a member of the Dutch squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. My highlight of the tournament was my goal against Brazil which helped win a third place medal.
In 2019 we placed second in the Uefa Nations League. I scored goals against France as well as Germany in that tournament.