World Cup of Darts: Brazil's Diogo Portela on darts in Rio de Janeiro, pursuing his dream in Europe... and Ronaldinho's free-kick
By James Dielhenn
Last Updated: 31/05/17 6:05pm
Everything you need to know about Diogo Portela, one half of Brazil's debutants at the World Cup of Darts...
Brazil are debuting in the World Cup. How did it happen?
I wasn't expecting it. After my appearance on the European Tour my social media went crazy! I emailed the PDC chairman and told him that people want to see Brazil in the World Cup. He replied straight away, saying: 'no problem!'
What will Brazil add to the World Cup of Darts?
New energy. People love Brazil. We can bring happiness… but some good darts, also.
Is there a buzzing darts scene in Brazil?
Not really. We used to have more players. In the early-2000s, in Rio, we had 200-300 players. But we lost sponsorship and the prize money was dropped, so players weren't motivated anymore.
In 2015 I went on One Hundred and Eighty on Sky One, and people watched in Brazil. We've started to get back the number of players, but it's still quite low.
Did you come to England to pursue your darts career?
Yes - it sounds crazy, doesn't it? I owned a business in Brazil but I sold it, quit, and came to England. I've been living in England for two years.
I've just quit my job [to play darts professionally]. I used to work for L'Oreal. Then I taught maths at school part-time, which helps with darts!
Who's the best darts player that you've played?
Kim Huybrechts. I've played him twice, and he's really good. I played Vincent van der Voort and Jamie Wilson who are brilliant, but I think Kim can do more than those guys.
You must be a football fan…
Have you heard of Botafogo? They're my team, they're from Rio. They're doing well in the Copa Libertadores.
Liken your darts style to a famous Brazilian footballer…
Ronaldo. He could have done 10 times more but he had three knee injuries. Everyone said it was over, but he came back and proved people wrong.
What's your favourite memory of Brazil at a World Cup?
The 2002 World Cup was awesome. We didn't believe in ourselves. We didn't agree with the team but they proved us wrong.
You beat England, before winning the tournament…
Yes, it was the only match that Ronaldinho played well! He didn't do anything else! I think he tried to cross the ball…
Are you hoping for Brazil v England at the World Cup of Darts?
We've got a tough game with Switzerland in the beginning. But if we can get through it, we might get lucky enough to play the Netherlands. This is what I'm hoping for.
Don't forget that you can see all the action from The World Cup of Darts, live on Sky Sports. The arrows run from 1-4 June.
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