Michael van Gerwen is bidding to win a record-equalling fourth World Cup title in Hamburg this weekend, as the Netherlands aim to clinch a third successive triumph.
Van Gerwen is making his seventh consecutive World Cup appearance but for the first time in the tournament’s history, Raymond van Barneveld will not be flying the flag for the Netherlands.
The five-time world champion has been replaced by debutant Jermaine Wattimena, who is currently the second highest-ranked Dutchman on the PDC Order of Merit, but MVG believes the ‘Machine Gun’ is deserving of his spot.
“With all respect to Raymond, I think Jermaine deserves his place,” said Van Gerwen, who has won the tournament three times alongside his compatriot Van Barneveld.
Victory for ‘The Green Machine’ this weekend would see him draw level with the decorated trio of Van Barneveld, Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis on four individual World Cup titles.
The previous eight World Cups have been shared with four wins apiece for the Dutch and English sides, therefore Netherlands could usurp England by securing a record fifth title this weekend – with the pair scheduled to collide in the semi-finals.
“I love to hold records and this would be a special one. It would be something special for the Netherlands to overtake England and I am really determined to do that,” Van Gerwen told the PDC.
“Also for myself it would take me level on titles with three great World Cup players and if I do that then I have the chance next year to break that record too,” he added.
However, Netherlands face a tough opening assignment against 2010 semi-finalists Spain, who are represented by Cristo Reyes and Toni Alcinas for the fifth successive year. Poland are the potential second-round opponents for the Dutch, with Australia and top seeds England also lying in wait.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC