Former Real Madrid, Tottenham and Ajax midfielder Rafael van der Vaart will sensationally make his competitive darting debut next month, as he prepares to appear in the BDO’s double-header in Denmark.
Van der Vaart, who scored 28 goals in his 77 appearances for Tottenham between 2010-2013, has entered both the Denmark Open and Denmark Masters – which take place on May 4-5 in Esbjerg.
The 36-year-old is friends with Dutch darting giants Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen, while Vincent van der Voort’s popular walk-on owes a lot to the former Eredivisie winner.
Van der Vaart became a cult hero during his spell at White Hart Lane and was regularly serenaded to the tune of Give It Up by KC and the Sunshine Band. This chant was then adapted to Van der Voort’s walk-on, which remains one of the most well-known within world darts.
Van der Vaart has some previous darting experience however. He competed alongside MvG at the Promi-Darts World Championship in January and the Dutch duo reached the final of the celebrity Pro-Am event, where they lost to Max Hopp and actor Jimi Ochsenknecht.
Van der Vaart also teamed up with Van Barneveld in an exhibition event in 2013, prior to the PDC World Cup of Darts in Hamburg. They took on 16-time world champion Phil Taylor and German midfielder Maximilian Beister, but the Dutchmen came out on top.
The former Madrid man currently resides in Denmark with his partner Estavana Polman, who plays for Danish handball side Team Esbjerg, and Van der Vaart has enjoyed spells at Danish Superliga sides FC Midtjylland and Esbjerg fB over recent years.
Nevertheless, the former World Cup finalist announced his retirement with immediate effect in November 2018 due to persistent injury problems. Despite this, he won’t be alone as he makes his BDO bow, as his brother Fernando van der Vaart will also be competing in Denmark.
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