Michael van Gerwen targets five world titles and thinks Phil Taylor's 16 impossible to catch
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 03/01/17 6:03pm
Michael van Gerwen thinks it will be impossible for him to get near Phil Taylor's incredible record of 16 world titles.
Van Gerwen was reflecting on his second Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) title on Tuesday, having struggled to get much sleep in the wake of his 7-3 win over defending champion Gary Anderson on Monday night.
The Alexandra Palace success ended three years of frustration for the 2014 champion and world No 1, and he told Sky Sports News HQ it would mean him winning just about every year until his retirement to get anywhere near 'The Power'.
Taylor won two British Darts Organisation titles before making the move over when the PDC split occurred and going on to win 14 more titles from 1995 until his most recent in 2013.
Asked if he could ever catch Taylor, Van Gerwen said: "That's not possible. I need to be realistic.
"I'm probably going to play for another 12 or 13 years and I need to probably win every year. Even then I am only just catching up. That's not what I am aiming for - I want a minimum of five world titles.
"There are so many good dart players and you have to perform well week in, week out. It's nearly impossible to get those titles. You never know what happens but I will just try to do it - it's really difficult."
Van Gerwen received a congratulatory phonecall from Dutch prime minster Mark Rutte during his post-victory press conference and said that left him feeling 'honoured' before going on to explain how much the second title meant to him.
He added: "It was a bit difficult to sleep. I had all the adrenaline running through my body but I am fine now and it is a great thing to wake up as world champion again.
"I have worked really hard for it all through the year. I won 25 tournaments last year and now I started off this year with the World Championship title.
"It was difficult because last year Raymond [van Barneveld] beat me in a fantastic game, the year before was Gary and this year I beat them both.
"I did everything I needed to win that trophy again and I am a happy man to start the year like this. It is a pleasure for me to entertain everyone and I did all the right things this year in the World Championship."
Van Gerwen also poked a little fun at Barcelona and Argentina great Lionel Messi after being described as his sport's comparison to the football great.
He said with a broad smile: "Lionel Messi is a hero and a legend - I am not that close but I have something he hasn't got - two World Championship titles!"
Darts has been backed as an Olympic sport by such sporting luminaries as former England rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward and Van Gerwen would love to see it happen.
"A gold medal would be nice, of course that's a great thing. But the first rule, I think, in Olympic competition is that you can't have two associations," he said.
"Of course we have the BDO, which is only small, and then the PDC. You never know what is going to happen but we are progressing, getting more professional. It takes time but we are getting there."
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