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Van der Vaart announced his retirement from professional football last November..

Rafael van der Vaart will make his competitive darts debut at Danish Open

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It's been five months since Rafael van der Vaart hung up his football boots.

The midfielder never reached the heights that his early talent promised, but he still enjoyed an impressive career at the likes of Ajax, Real Madrid, Hamburg and Real Betis.

He is most fondly remembered on English shores for his remarkable two years at Tottenham, scoring 28 goals and delivering some truly memorable Champions League moments.

There was also success on the international stage as Van der Vaart amassed no fewer than 109 caps for the Netherlands - the fourth most in history - and appeared in the 2010 World Cup final.

Van der Vaart decided to unwind his career after one season in La Liga, enjoying spells in Denmark with Midtjylland and Esbjerg before calling time on life in the professional game. 

Van der Vaart and darts?

However, it seems Van der Vaart has been unwilling to leave sport for good and has decided to try his hand at a different discipline - darts.

Darts is an incredibly popular sport in the Netherlands with Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen becoming some of the most successful players in the world.

So, it seems Van der Vaart is keen to follow in their footsteps and make a subtle move into the world of competitive darts, quietly entering himself into a BDO tournament.

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Van der Vaart eyeing Danish Open

The 36-year-old will be making an appearance at the Denmark Open, trying to make an impression in the Category A+ event in Esbjerg.

Top players such as Eric Bristow, Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson have triumphed in Denmark before and Van der Vaart can expect some tough competition in his adopted home.

The former midfielder resides in Esbjerg - where he finished his footballing career - in order to live with his girlfriend Estavana Polman, who plays for the town's handball team.

Interestingly, Van der Vaart will also be competing alongside his brother Fernando, who joins him on the list of entrants ahead of the May tournament. 

Although the Danish Open will mark his first foray into competitive darts, Van der Vaart has entered a number of celebrity competitions in the past.

The ex-Tottenham man shared the oche with world champion Van Gerwen as recently as January, reaching the final of the Celebrity Darts Championship.

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Obviously, it will be incredibly tough for Van der Vaart to go all the way on his first appearance but a top prize of €8,500 means there's plenty of incentive to invest 100% effort.

The tournament will be held between May 3-5 and staged at the Granly Hockey Arena, with the entrants including defending champion Willem Mandigers as well as Jim Williams.

Only time will tell whether Van der Vaart is just as lethal at the oche as he was on the football pitch.

Do you think Van der Vaart will be a success in the world of darts? Have your say in the comments section below.

Topics:
Rafael Van der Vaart
Football
Hamburger SV
UEFA Champions
Real Madrid
Tottenham Hotspur

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