Five-time world darts champion Raymond van Barneveld has said that he will retire after the 2020 PDC World Championship. The Dutchman won four of his world titles in the British Darts Organisation (BDO) in 1998, 1999, 2003, and 2005 before moving to the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and winning his fifth title in 2007 against Phil Taylor in an incredibly dramatic final which went to a tie-breaker.
van Barneveld tweeted a short statement announcing his retirement: “For over 35 years I have been competing at the top of darts. With high peaks and deep lows. With 5 beautiful World Titles and many other trophies I have won. I have seen many countries and met a lot of people.”
“This sport brought me everything I could hope for and I will always be grateful for that. But I have decided that 2019 will be my final year as a professional darts player. I hope to see all my fans again next year to be able to say goodbye and then put my darts down.”
Since his move to the PDC, van Barneveld has won many titles including four World Cup of Darts with his teammate and world number one Michael van Gerwen. However, he has failed to win a major singles title in four years, losing in multiple semi-finals and finals, usually to Gerwen.
“I’m not winning tournaments any more. I don’t know why but a lot of things have happened in my private life and I’ve also noticed that my body isn’t feeling 100% any more. I don’t have the drive, motivation or fitness to carry on.
“I’m a winner, that’s what I do, I lift trophies but I can’t do it any more. Maybe there are still a couple of titles left in me and that would be amazing, but I can’t do this every week. This sport brought me everything I could hope for and I will always be grateful for that.”