Chorley's Brazilian darts star Diogo targets 'greatest upset ever' - as he joins forces with Press Box PR
Tonight, Diogo Portela’s Brazil side face the toughest challenge in darts, a round one World Cup of Darts meeting with tournament favourites Netherlands, starring world number one Michael van Gerwen.
And he does so with a new sponsor on his yellow and green shirt - Press Box PR! We have joined forces with 'Brazillilant' to be his sponsor for the rest of 2020, following him on every step of his journey.
Portela, who has lived in Chorley, Lancashire since moving in 2018, has an all-time upset victory on his mind and his new daughter Diana in his heart.
Diogo said: “Simple. If we beat the Netherlands, it is the biggest upset ever in darts. We believe we can do it and shake up the darts world like never before, but we have no pressure on our shoulders.
“It is a win-win situation for us. It is not often you are up against the best player in the world. We go out to enjoy ourselves and to get experience.
It is a re-match of sorts for Diogo who defeated van Gerwin once before - in a single-leg format on Sky’s darts TV gameshow One Hundred and Eighty hosted by Davina McCall back in 2015.
2020 has been a formative year for 32-year-old Diogo Portela and wife Ariana. He said: “When I’m on stage now, I’m thinking of a little lady who has taken over my heart.
The Portela family welcomed ‘little princess’ daughter Diana into the world in June. Six weeks after arriving via an emergency C-section, Diana underwent surgery at Manchester Children’s Hospital to correct a stomach issue which had prevented her from feeding properly.
Diogo added: “She’s getting much better now. Thanks very much to the hospital and its staff.
“All of the key workers were brilliant. They really understood our situation and what we would be feeling as parents, they explained all of the next steps.”
The Brazilian now has a double role to play, as a new father and an international sportsman.
He said: “Becoming a father your priorities change. Darts is no longer most important. I used to be protective of my routine but you need to think of your child first.
“Now when Diana sleeps, I practice. When she wakes, I look after her. In the last couple of weeks, she has been very good and let me practice for two to five hours during the day.
“My father is the reason I play darts and he rang me the other today to tellI me he had seen my face used on a PDC poster, which had made him so proud. But when I am on stage now, I am thinking of my daughter. This little lady has taken over my heart. She is my biggest fan and will wear my darts shirt to watch me on TV.
And five-month-old Diana has taken over the Portela family home, too. “My dart practice room became Diana’s room because it is next to our bedroom. So I had to turn the guest room into a dart room.
“During lockdown, I’ve been playing in online competitions to prepare. It helps you to focus and practice for competition format - with gaps between matches.”
And Diogo admits he is hoping he will have to wait to return to Lancashire to see his family.
“We could fly home on Sunday. But the World Cup final is Sunday and we would love to be in, so I can wait an extra day to see Diana if it means we can make history for Brazil.”
Diogo Portela factfile
Occupation: professional darts player
Previous job: Algebra teacher, financial administrator
Lives: Chorley, Lancashire
Born: Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Favourite double: 16
Throws: right handed
Walk on music: "Mas que Nada" by Sérgio Mendes
Career best: 2018 PDC World Championship, last 64
Other tournament wins: 2018 PDC Challenge Tour