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Former Tottenham midfielder set to make his darts tournament debut

Rafael van der Vaart will compete at next month’s Denmark Open.

Rafael van der Vaart sporting the colours of his last club in football, Esbjerg, last year.
Rafael van der Vaart sporting the colours of his last club in football, Esbjerg, last year.
Image: Imago/PA Images

WITH FIVE-TIME WORLD champion Raymond van Barneveld to retire at the end of the year, Dutch darts could be set to welcome another national treasure into its enclosure.

Former Tottenham and Ajax midfielder Rafael van der Vaart is to take to the oche competitively for the first time next month at the BDO Denmark Open in Esbjerg.

The 36-year-old’s brother, Fernando, will also perform at the 4-5 May event, making it very much a family affair.

Van der Vaart recently retired from playing football with Esbjerg, finishing a career which yielded 109 senior caps for the Netherlands and saw him line out for many of the game’s elite clubs across a career which spanned two decades.

The Denmark Open was first held in 1974 and has been won by some of the sport’s biggest names, including Phil Taylor, Eric Bristow, van Barneveld, John Lowe and Gary Anderson.

This year’s field is expected to attract mainly Scandinavian-based performers.

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