Van Gerwen: "If I play my game, they cannot beat me!"

Michael van Gerwen (Kieran Cleeves/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen believes he is the man to beat at next month's Cazoo World Darts Championship, after claiming his seventh Players Championship Finals title in Minehead on Sunday.

Van Gerwen produced an astonishing display to defeat Rob Cross 11-6 in an epic final at Butlin’s Minehead Resort, landing a spectacular nine-darter and a 170 checkout to triumph in style.

The Dutchman also produced a majestic 142 finish, landed eight 180s and averaged 100 to scoop the £100,000 top prize and lift his third televised ranking title of the year.

“This was a special game of darts. I think we both played well,” reflected Van Gerwen, who has also celebrated Premier League, World Matchplay and World Grand Prix success in 2022.

“I managed to hit a nine-darter and a 170 finish when it mattered, but overall I think Rob Cross played a phenomenal game and the game had everything.

“I know I'm capable of a lot more but you also have to be realistic and to win this trophy again, for the seventh time, it means a lot to me.”

The Dutchman, who also defeated Dimitri Van den Bergh, Danny Noppert and Luke Humphries en route to the title, broke down in tears post-match as he dedicated the win to his daughter Zoe.

“My daughter was watching every game and said 'Daddy, are you coming home with a big trophy again?' said an emotional Van Gerwen.

“I said if I win the trophy again it's going to be yours, so that's why I wanted to win it.

“I’m here to win tournaments. I love winning and I love performing on the stage – to produce something extra, something special in a final like this, gives me a lot of energy.”

Van Gerwen’s focus now turns to next month’s Cazoo World Darts Championship, as he targets a fourth title in the sport’s showpiece event.

The 33-year-old has not lifted the Sid Waddell Trophy since 2019, but following his impressive resurgence over the last six months, Van Gerwen will head to Alexandra Palace in bullish mood. 

“If people want to beat me they have to play well,” insisted the three-time World Champion, who will reclaim the world number one spot if he claims the £500,000 top prize on January 3.

“If I play my game, they cannot beat me and they know it.

“I have to show what I can do, whoever it is against – Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright – I want to show what I can do.

“I’m there, I did my thing this year, I won a lot of tournaments and now I have to show it at the World Championship.”