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04th May 2019

Rafael van der Vaart makes winning start to darts career before second round defeat

The former Spurs and Real Madrid playmaker began his competitive darts career today

Darragh Murphy

Rafael van der Vaart enjoyed his opening match at the BDO Denmark Open

Van der Vaart made headlines last month when it was announced that he had joined the British Darts Organisation circuit.

The former Spurs and Real Madrid playmaker retired in 2018 after a spell with Danish club Esbjerg, which is exactly where the Denmark Open is being held this weekend.

Van der Vaart made a winning start, with a 4-2 victory over Thomas Anderson in the opening round.

The Dutchman’s debut performance impressed the commentators, who remarked: “I have been surprised by how good Rafael van der Vaart has played in moments.

“He has played some solid darts and has hit a couple of 100-plus scores.

“If he goes on to win this tournament, it would be one of the biggest upsets in the history of the world of darts!”

The upset wasn’t to be, however, as Van der Vaart was subsequently beaten in the second round, when Mogens Christensen steamrolled his way to a 4-0 victory.

Van der Vaart will still take to the Oche on Sunday, when he will take on Per Laursen in the Denmark Masters.

The former Netherlands international’s brother, Fernando, is also involved in the competition this weekend.