As soon as Phil Taylor hit the winning double to defeat Kim Huybrechts in the last 16, Raymond van Barneveld labelled his match against Phil Taylor tonight as ‘El Clasico’. It’s fair to say, I’m in agreement. Since Barneveld made the switch to the PDC back in 2007, it’s become a darts rivalry that’s been full of drama and entertainment.
Back In 2007, many darts fans prayers were answered when they got the match they truly deserved; the final of the PDC World Championship at the Circus Tavern between Taylor and Barneveld. That year was to be the end of the World Championship being held at the iconic Circus Tavern and what a send it it got as we were treated to an incredible match and arguably the greatest World Championship Final. Of course you could say that Painter vs Taylor in 2004 when the match went to a sudden death leg is the greatest of all time but for me, it has to be Barney vs Taylor.
The match started off with Taylor racing into a 3-0 lead only for Barneveld to hit back and make it 3-3. You could suddenly tell it was going to be a classic. Barneveld then took the lead for the first time when he made it 6-5 only for Taylor to level in at 6-6. The match then went to a sudden death leg and with Barneveld winning the bullseye, he had the throw in the last leg. Taylor hit a 180 in the last leg only for Barney to reply straight away with a maximum of his own. The tension was unreal as both men were throwing everything at each other and it was Barneveld who eventually came out on top.
Their most recent World Championship encounter was back in the semi final in 2013 at the Alexandra Palace. Taylor eventually closed the match out by winning 6-4 but Barneveld put up a fantastic fight. Taylor has won 56 of his 76 meeting with Barneveld down the years. Both players are currently in fine form, it’s the 5 time World Champion against the 16 time World Champion and tonight’s game is not to be missed, expect fireworks!