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World Darts Championship: Raymond van Barneveld celebrates his


Is Raymond van Barneveld back? The doyen of Dutch darts has found his form at the right time with the 55-year-old looking to win the title for the first time since THAT match in 2007 Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship – live on Sky Sports – from December 15

Last Updated: 08/12/22 2:37pm

Raymond van Barneveld has been reinvigorated ahead of the World Darts Championship

Raymond van Barneveld has been reinvigorated ahead of the World Darts Championship

Raymond van Barneveld says Phil Taylor’s text messages have helped boost his confidence as he prepares to roll back the years at this year’s World Darts Championship.

The Dutch legend will become only the second player in darting history – alongside Steve Beaton – to bring up the milestone of 30 World Championship appearances at this year’s tournament.

Van Barneveld will take on Ryan Meikle or four-time women’s world champion Lisa Ashton in his opening round assignment on Tuesday, December 20, as he aims to lift the title for the first time in 16 years.

Devon Petersen believes Van Barneveld can return to his best form after the Dutchman's impressive display at the Grand Slam of Darts

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Devon Petersen believes Van Barneveld can return to his best form after the Dutchman’s impressive display at the Grand Slam of Darts

Devon Petersen believes Van Barneveld can return to his best form after the Dutchman’s impressive display at the Grand Slam of Darts

The 55-year-old heads to Alexandra Palace in confident mood, fresh from his resurgence at the Grand Slam, where he progressed to his first televised ranking semi-final for almost six years.

And Barney has been buoyed with support coming from a certain 16-time world champion in the lead-up to the sport’s showpiece event.

Speaking on Love The Darts, Gerwyn Price is eyeing a potential rematch against Van Barneveld in the third round of the World Championship

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Speaking on Love The Darts, Gerwyn Price is eyeing a potential rematch against Van Barneveld in the third round of the World Championship

Speaking on Love The Darts, Gerwyn Price is eyeing a potential rematch against Van Barneveld in the third round of the World Championship

“I have played some brilliant matches here against Michael (Van Gerwen) and Phil, and Phil is supporting me big time,” said Van Barneveld.

“He was texting me every day at the Grand Slam, and he doesn’t need to do that, because he’s retired. It was very kind of him and I really appreciated that.

“After retiring I had to start from scratch and keep building. Winning this title again would be such a huge victory for myself, and I cannot describe how happy it would make me.”

Another reason behind his darting renaissance has been his growing “belief and hard work” with the Dutchman practising up to three to four days a week.

Van Barneveld, who proposed to his girlfriend Julia Evans in Paris earlier this year, is “over the moon” with life and he will head to Ally Pally with new shorter-point darts that helped him beat his great rival Taylor in his pomp.

Wayne Mardle and John Part discuss Van Barneveld's fairy-tale run at the Grand Slam of Darts

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Wayne Mardle and John Part discuss Van Barneveld’s fairy-tale run at the Grand Slam of Darts

Wayne Mardle and John Part discuss Van Barneveld’s fairy-tale run at the Grand Slam of Darts

“Thirty World Championships, wow! This sport has changed my life,” reflected Van Barneveld.

“When I won the 1998 World Championship, I thought this would maybe last for three to five years, but it opened doors for me everywhere.

“In January, it will be 25 years since I won my first world title. I think we’re going to open a bottle of champagne and celebrate!

“It’s always great to be back at the most important tournament in the world,” continued Van Barneveld, who landed the first two nine-darters in PDC World Championship history.

“The World Championship is the big one. This is the one you want to win. You want to perform well.

“You need to have that belief and that’s why I often cannot handle defeat very well, because I know what my dreams and my goals are, and when you don’t achieve them, it’s hard to deal with.”

Van Barneveld talks us through his sensational victory against world No 1 Gerwyn Price in Wolverhampton

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Van Barneveld talks us through his sensational victory against world No 1 Gerwyn Price in Wolverhampton

Van Barneveld talks us through his sensational victory against world No 1 Gerwyn Price in Wolverhampton

Remember when Barney said an emotional goodbye to his Premier League darts career in Rotterdam? Watch his moving walk-on...

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Remember when Barney said an emotional goodbye to his Premier League darts career in Rotterdam? Watch his moving walk-on…

Remember when Barney said an emotional goodbye to his Premier League darts career in Rotterdam? Watch his moving walk-on…

Van Barneveld makes no secret of the fact that money is a motivating factor having walked away from the sport after the 2020 World Championship, in which he suffered a shock first-round loss to Darin Young.

“Darts will always be the love of my life and I think I did the right thing in taking a year out and regrouping,” he said.

“I’m in the top 32 now, and I’m proud of myself. I am really happy, and if you feel happy, then anything is possible.”

So is Barney back? “I think so, yes,” said the five-time world champion. “So long as I take care of myself and look after my diabetes because I can get blurred vision and cold hands.

“I’m still struggling with it so I’m always searching for ways to find more stamina. I’m going to prepare by going to the gym and make myself ready for the Worlds.”

Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship – live on Sky Sports – from December 15 to January 3.



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