Raymond van Barneveld was hit hard on Saturday after his elimination in the first round of the World Cup darts in London, which suddenly ended his career. Former colleagues Wayne Mardle and Chris Mason about the memorable evening at the Alexandra Palace.
Van Barneveld was after the surprising 1-3 defeat against Darin Young, who is not even in possession of a Tour card and qualified for the World Cup via an American qualifying tournament, quite hard for himself. He called himself an "amateur who will never love himself, disgusted himself and finds life meaningless."
52-year-old Hagenaar had already announced his retirement last year, but what was to be a wonderful final year became an unprecedented deception with lows in sporting matters (relegation in Premier League of Darts and missing many majors) and in private life ( robbery in his house and divorce from his wife).
"I was particularly surprised that he said that he no longer feels like life," says Mardle, who took on Van Barneveld seventeen times between 2000 and 2009. "He may feel depressed in general, but then he needs help and someone needs to talk to him. The PDPA should notice that and then give him a helping hand."
"I am not worried about his health," said Mason, who met Van Barneveld five times between 1999 and 2007. "He was like this throughout his career, the next day it will be fine again. It was a bit the same as when he told him in Rotterdam that he was going to stop immediately, and then come back to it the next day."
123Van Barneveld: "Why should I be proud of my career?"
"Your life changes one hundred and eighty degrees"
Van Barneveld published an extensive message on his Instagram page on Sunday. He wrote that he still finds himself a "loser and weakling", but he more or less apologized for the fact that he had not thanked the fans for their support over the years.
"I would have liked the power and found the words to say something to you on TV, but I just couldn't do it. I was and am so devastated. I am incredibly proud of your unconditional support deep down "I didn't want to hurt anyone with my comments," it reads, among other things.
"I sympathize with him," says Mardle. "It's hard to say goodbye to something you've loved. Imagine that after 35 years of doing the same job, one day you have to close the door behind you and never come back. Then you end up in an emotional rollercoaster. We all deal with that differently. "
"Your life changes one hundred and eighty degrees if you stop. For the past few decades, Raymond has stood in front of a dartboard, so to speak. Training and thinking of the World Cup, the Premier League and all other tournaments. He has to put it right in a row what he wants to do now. He is down and we don't want to see him down. "
174Ode to Van Barneveld: "The universe has it for him"
"Raymond must be extremely proud"
Although he didn't see it that way on Saturday, Van Barneveld can look back on a glorious career. He became world champion five times (in 1998, 1999, 2003 and 2005 at the BDO and in 2007 at the PDC) and is therefore behind his rival Phil Taylor, who was stopped two years ago, the most successful darter ever at the World Cup.
"Raymond is an absolute legend that I have always admired," says Mason. "He first infected the Netherlands with the darts virus and then the whole of Europe. He belongs in a row with Taylor, Bristow, Lowe and Deller; players who have made the sport what it is today. Raymond is forever in the history books and his name on the trophies. "
"Raymond must be extremely proud of his career. I would like one world title, let alone five. If he soon talks about everything with his new girlfriend, he also realizes that it was not all that bad. I hope that he can enjoy his retirement. He has earned that. "
Van Barneveld will start a farewell tour through the Netherlands next month. He can be admired on the Kings of Darts evenings in Den Bosch (January 24, Enschede (January 26) and Groningen (January 28) and finally on February 8 at his own farewell evening in the AFAS Live in Amsterdam (location was first the nearby Ziggo Dome).
See also: Reconstruction: The last hour of Van Barneveld as a darter