VIDEO: Raymond van Barneveld's heartbreaking interview is genuinely hard to watch 3 years ago

VIDEO: Raymond van Barneveld's heartbreaking interview is genuinely hard to watch

"When I left, I promised my grandson I would bring the trophy back... ah, well."

Raymond van Barneveld could not have done more.

He threw an average of over 109 in his semi-final with Michael van Gerwen - a record in the World Darts Championship. He knew he'd need his A-game for the world number one and he brought it and then some. Sometimes, even your best just isn't enough.

Not on nights like these. Not against Michael van Gerwen.

The victor paid tribute to Barney after the game. How could he not? Against a mere mortal, van Barneveld would've waltzed into Monday's decider to face off with Gary Anderson. Unfortunately, there were no mortals throwing darts at the Ally Pally in this tie.

It was just the indestructible Michael van Gerwen and the heartbroken Barney who could do nothing more.

Let's just go over it all again to put into perspective just what it took to beat this man on Sunday evening:

  • Barney averaged 109.34.
  • He recorded 14 separate 180s.
  • He produced three-figure checkouts at his leisure.
  • He had a 68% success rate on doubles.

Barney lost 6-2.

It defies logic. As far as being 'on it' goes, no man has ever been more tuned in than van Barneveld was for this semi-final. Michael van Gerwen is not a man though, he's a machine and that was the obstacle - to beat the unbeatable.

The performance made it all the more heartbreaking watching the losing Dutchman try to put the defeat into words. He showed the scale of his efforts, the sacrifices he makes to perform on occasions like this and he admitted that he would not be satisfied with a performance, a high average or any other trophies.

"There are no more trophies," he said. "It's only this one."

The pain was palpable and felt by everyone watching on. Barney's family are missing him and he is missing them and, when all is said and done, someone like Michael van Gerwen makes those tough efforts redundant. And van Barneveld can do nothing about it.

This is a tough watch.

The skill level required from these two to produce a night like this is incomprehensible.

So, too, clearly, is the commitment.

And to think some people still have the audacity to say that this is not a sport.