Thank you for signing up. 

We've sent you an email. Please click on the link to verify your address.

Watch live darts

Find out how now

Raymond van Barneveld vows to reclaim place among the PDC's elite eight

Dutch legend Van Barneveld celebrates (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Raymond van Barneveld has vowed to battle for his place in the world's top eight and says he has no plans to follow in the footsteps of Phil Taylor by winding down his schedule.

The five-time World Champion will celebrate his 50th birthday in April and remains one of the sport's biggest box office attractions worldwide.

His decision to cut down on ProTour and European Tour appearances in 2016 saw him come perilously close to dropping out of the world's top 16, before a memorable run to the World Championship Semi-Finals guided him back up to tenth in the PDC Order of Merit.

The popular Dutchman is in the midst of his twelfth Premier League campaign, having been handed a Sky Sports wildcard, and insists he is determined to reclaim his rightful position among the sport's elite.

"I'm going to be playing as many floor tournaments and European Tours as I can to try and get back in the top eight," Van Barneveld told Live Darts. "Especially before the BBC tournament [Champions League of Darts] in September.

"I missed out on that last year and it didn't feel right. 

"I pick my moments - the Premier League, the World Cup and the World Championship - those three tournaments are the most important to me.

"The rest of the year I try my best but those three are the main titles to me and I want to win them."

Van Barneveld enjoys vociferous support from his partisan 'Barney Army' in venues across the globe and says that backing can make a crucial difference to his performance level.

"Everywhere I go I get huge support," he added. "I never realise what it would be like if I wasn't popular.

"I had that one night in Aberdeen last year when I was playing Gary [Anderson]. Normally the Scots would cheer me on but they were booing and whistling and there was no way I could ever win that match.

"Having the crowd on your side is really important.

"Rotterdam last year was the best night I've ever had - the whole crowd were wearing orange and it was absolutely amazing.

"I was a bit frightened how the people were going to respond to me but as soon as I came on the stage the crowd were singing 'Barney Army' for four or five minutes and that's why you play this game.

"Of course you want to win trophies but the respect of the crowd is the best you can get."

Van Barneveld's rivalry with Taylor is one of the most iconic in the sport's history and 2017 could be the final year the pair meet in professional competition, with Taylor recently announcing his plans to retire following the World Championship.

Barney's enjoyed his finest hour against Taylor in the 2007 World Championship final, and though he sympathises with Taylor's decision to step away from the sport, the Dutch veteran says he will continue playing into his fifties.

"I understand Phil's decision," said Van Barneveld. "He earns a lot of money so he can retire whenever he wants.

"For me it's a bit different, I haven't won as much as he has.

"I'm becoming 50 this year and if I survive Judgement Night I will be celebrating my birthday at the Premier League in Belfast.

"I've said to myself five more years but I don't know how long I can stay playing to this level.

"If you don't get picked for the World Series or the Premier League, what else is left? 

"I have diabetes so that makes it tough along with all the travelling, but I'm happy with my game now and I believe I can still win titles."


Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Raymond van Barneveld vows to reclaim place among the PDC's elite eight

Raymond van Barneveld has vowed to battle for his place in the world's top eight and says he has no plans to follow in the footsteps of Phil Taylor by winding down his schedule.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages