By Paul Woodage
JOSE De Sousa admitted it was “emotional” after taking the European Darts Grand Prix championship, defeating Michael van Gerwen in the final.
The German crowd were treated to a sensational display by the man from Portugal as he powered his way to victory in style and claimed his maiden European Tour event title. MVG simply had no answer as de Sousa produced some fantastic darts to overcome the Dutchman 8-4 and earn himself a place in this year’s Grand Slam.
The Portuguese number one came into the event as the 15th seed and opened up his account with an emphatic whitewash of German qualifier, Ricardo Pietreczko before knocking out World Matchplay champion, Gerwyn Price to reach the quarter finals. In the evening session he saw off Lithuanian Darius Labanauskas and booked his place in the final by eliminating last years winner, Ian White.
De Sousa said: “It can’t describe my feelings because it’s unbelievable. I’m really emotional.
“Every title I win, it’s a dream because it’s so difficult, but this is my biggest title and I’m very, very happy.
“I thank the crowd, they were wonderful and this title is for me and all of them. I want to share it with them and all the people who support me; my management and my family.
“I can do anything right now, that’s what I think. It doesn’t matter who I play against, I just play my game. I know that I can do it and I have so much confidence in my game.”
For Michael van Gerwen fans, they can take plenty of positives from the weekend as the Green Machine showed glimpses of his formidable best.
He comprehensively despatched of Mervyn King in his first match then went onto send his best friend, Vincent van der Voort packing in round two. Van Gerwen then undoubtably produced his best performance of the weekend winning a thrilling last leg decider against Premier League runner up, Nathan Aspinall followed by demolishing Mensur Suljovic 7-1 to reach the final.
Always gracious in defeat, van Gerwen said on his Twitter page: “I never like losing especially in finals. But credit to Jose, he played a phenomenal game.
“I did some good things this weekend and some not so good but heading the right way. Looking forward to next weekend.”
However the night belongs to the man from Lisbon who averaged just under 106 in the final and makes history in becoming the first player from his country to win a PDC European Tour Event. The victory takes de Sousa up to number 39 in the world and if you are looking for a dark horse in the Grand Slam of Darts then he could well be the darkest of them all.
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-3 Glen Durrant
Ian White 6-2 Michael Smith
Darius Labanauskas 6-2 Joe Cullen
Jose De Sousa 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Jamie Hughes
Rob Cross 6-1 Martijn Kleermaker
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 James Wade
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Vincent van der Voort
Ian White 6-4 Maik Kuivenhoven
Jose De Sousa 6-4 Darius Labanauskas
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 Rob Cross
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Jose De Sousa 7-6 Ian White
Michael van Gerwen 7-1 Mensur Suljovic
Jose De Sousa 8-4 Michael van Gerwen