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Gibraltar Darts Trophy 2022 | Day Three Preview and Order of Play

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Damon Heta claims first European Tour title at the Gibraltar Darts Trophy

Michael van Gerwen brands Jose de Sousa “a rookie” following Gibraltar Darts Trophy clash

Jamie Shaw in European Tour 16 Oct 2022
Van Gerwen speaks out (Photo by Kieran Cleeves/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen has dismissed Jose de Sousa as “nothing” and “a rookie” following their meeting in the Gibraltar Darts Trophy on Sunday.

Van Gerwen battled his way to a 6-4 victory in their Last 16 encounter at the Victoria Stadium and proceeded to launch a remarkable tirade against the Portuguese thrower in his post-match interview on stage.

De Sousa has become renowned for his audacious finishing routes in recent years, notably taking out 120 with three double tops during the 2021 Premier League.

The world number six had attempted to finish 80 with two double tops in the fifth leg against Van Gerwen, landing outside of the target with his first two darts before hitting a single 20.

Van Gerwen was brutally vocal in his criticism of De Sousa’s shot selection, admitting: “I think he is a good player but he makes too many mistakes. He’s like a rookie.

“I think he’s more clever than that. At the beginning everyone was laughing about it because his counting wasn’t that good, but now he does it on purpose trying to be Mr Big B*llocks – and it didn’t work.

“I’m going to be the first one who says it but it’s about time someone put him in his place.

“He always runs around like ‘I’m Mr ‘tops, tops’ but he’s nothing, simple. Nothing.

“Sometimes, tops-tops can be a good shot. Let’s say you’re on 105, you throw a single bull then go for tops, tops, but sometimes he wants to make it a show and sometimes it doesn’t work, especially against me.

“I was more desperate to win that game.

“I admire him as a player but he doesn’t need to get into games like that.

“That’s why I had to be strong at the end, I was winding myself up saying “come on, what are you doing to yourself?” but in the end I won the game and that’s the only thing that counts.”

Van Gerwen will now face Nathan Aspinall in a repeat of last week’s World Grand Prix final as he aims to remain on course for a fourth Gibraltar Trophy title and a fourth European Tour triumph of the year.

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