Clog almighty Michael van Gerwen has given compatriot Raymond van Barneveld's comeback short shrift, claiming: “I'm already the greatest Dutch darts player of all time.”
To date, Van Gerwen has won three world titles to Barney's five – although four of Van Barneveld's triumphs were at the Lakeside, not the Professional Darts Corporation's bells-and-whistles version of the crown.
But as he enters the William Hill PDC World Championship with a second round date against Winchester's Chas Barstow, ranked No.101 in the world, the green machine insists he has already eclipsed Barney's achievements.
Van Gerwen said: “Don't get me wrong, I think I already went past him a long, long time ago. If you look at my title list, it is much bigger.
“I could have won two more world titles already, but I will win more. I won’t stop until I win more. A minimum of 10 years I’ll keep playing. I still like what I do.”
Van Barneveld retired, in a monumental strop, after his first-round blow-out at Ally Pally two years ago, and MVG is unimpressed by his sudden U-turn.
He scoffed: “Weird, isn’t it? Retirement and comeback, it’s like a big soap. Everyone was crying, then suddenly: Barney’s back!
“Everyone does it their own way, but I can assure you: When I stop, I’ll stop 100 per cent.
Do you think Van Gerwen has eclipsed Van Barneveld? Let us know in the comments section.
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“Ray went through a divorce, and if you have to work, you have to work.
“Raymond is still a good darts player, and on his day he can still beat anyone.
“Does he absolutely enjoy what he’s doing? I doubt it.
“I personally think it was income that is his driving force because of no exhibitions due to coronavirus.”
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