Diogo Portela is desperate to become an even bigger name on the PDC scene.
The Brazilian is already well known and admired as a pioneer of South American darts. He has made it to the PDC World Championship twice, and will captain his nation for the third time at the PDC World Cup of Darts in June. Portela is pleased with the big stage appearances he has made in a whirlwind career.
“It’s been good. Sometimes I think it could have actually been a lot more,” he told the Weekly Dartscast.
“But if you put everything on paper, what I’ve achieved in the past three years – it’s all happened really quick.
“The two appearances at the World Cup – not just appearances, we won in the first round in both.
“The World Championship… it’s not easy to come back to my continent and knowing I’m the best player, and actually get the job done to qualify back to the World Championship.
“I’ve done it two times.”
“I want to achieve more”
It was not all that long ago that Portela was known for an appearance on ill-fated Sky game show One Hundred and Eighty. Since then, he has grown as a player, and is a Challenge Tour player. But full-time PDC status still eludes him, meaning his rise to the top is far from complete.
“I’m proud of myself, what I’ve done so far,” said Portela.
“But I don’t want to stop here.
“I want to achieve more and more, and I’m looking forward to the years ahead.”
Finish line fever
Portela recently made an appearance at the German Darts Championship. It was his second European Tour outing, and his first in two years. The 30-year-old claimed that the stats don’t accurately portray the real state of affairs.
Going forward, ‘Braziliant’ is desperate to shed the ‘nearly man’ tag.
“What people don’t see is that I’ve been working really hard.
“I’ve lost in about eight finals for the European Tour [qualifiers], so I was getting close, just not qualifying for the main events.
“Like the UK Open, I missed two years on the trot by countback, the Tour Card I missed out two times by one game.
“People sometimes think I’m overrated. But I’m getting closer and closer every time.
“I just need a little bit more time really.
“I want to keep focused, and keep practicing, and improve my game more and more to actually cross this line and become a full-time Pro Tour player.”