De Sousa close to tears after Grand Slam glory

By Paul Woodage 25/11/2020

PORTUGAL has its first PDC major champion, and his name is Jose de Sousa. The Iberian sensation claimed the 2020 BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts title with a dominant display in defeating James Wade 16-12.

A virtual unknown just a couple of years ago, De Sousa has since climbed the rankings faster than a spider wearing a jet pack to put himself in the top 16 on the order of merit amongst the world’s elite.

The signs were there that the Portuguese was on the brink of something huge when, just a month ago in Germany, he dismantled Michael van Gerwen to lift the European Darts Grand Prix trophy.

Wade had been looking dangerous all week and went into the final as the bookies favourite. The odds looked justified as The Machine immediately got into gear and raced to a 3-0 lead but De Sousa clawed it back to 3-2 at the first interval.

The pair traded blows until The Special One broke Wade in the 17th leg to go 10-7 up. The former two time Grand Slam finalist wasn’t hitting the doubles with the regularity needed to keep up with the onslaught of maximums de Sousa was pounding in. 

Eventually the power scoring from the Portuguese was just too much for Wade to live with and in true De Sousa style he wrapped up the match 16-12 with an unconventional 158 finish.

An emotional De Sousa said: "It was so nice what I felt, it was amazing. The moment I threw the last dart I knew I was going to make it and I almost started to cry before I threw the dart. When I hit that double it was unbelievable. 

"It's a dream come true. I work six, seven hours every day and we see that. I came here because I wanted to take the PDC seriously. This is the result of my work and I am very proud of myself.

"With my work it was the right decision (to leave his previous job). I still have contact with my ex boss, lovely guy. My family are happier for me, my wife is crying right now."

A disappointed Wade spoke after the final and praised his opponent sportingly saying that the better man won.

On his Twitter feed, he said:, “Congratulations to Jose de Sousa, he played brilliant. Just didn’t happen for me, gutted. But it’s a step in the right direction. Thank you for all your support over the tournament, it means so much.”

The Lisbon man had already made history in this tournament as Portugal’s first major quarter finalist but the win firmly stamps his name in the record books. He also becomes only the 6th player to lift the famous Eric Bristow trophy.

There isn’t much time for de Sousa to celebrate as the Players Championship begins in just three days time. But he can reflect on his historic achievement and the darting world can hail a new hero on the oche.

 


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