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5 months ago

Luke Littler admits he ‘only knows Pele off FIFA’ after Brazil legend is mentioned in interview

Luke Littler admitted he “only knows Pele from FIFA” after the 16-year-old Darts sensation was compared to a host of sporting icons who achieved great things at a young age.

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the Runcorn-born player, who has rocked the darting world with a number of remarkable performances at this year’s PDC World Championship in London.

So far, Littler has recorded dominant wins over Christian Kist, Andrew Gilding, Matt Campbell and Raymond van Barneveld as he prepares to meet world number 28 Brendan Dolan in Monday’s quarter-final.

The teenager is already one of the favourites to make history and secure the prestigious title.

And after his latest 4-1 victory over five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld, a confident Littler was met by comparisons to previous teenage sporting icons, including Pele, Mike Tyson and Boris Becker.

Pele, of course, burst onto the global stage at just 17 when he helped Brazil lift their first World Cup in 1958.

Mike Tyson also took the world by storm with his achievements. The American made his professional boxing debut aged 18 before becoming the youngest ever heavyweight world champion at 20.

Tennis icon Boris Becker was also 18 when he won Wimbledon for the first time.

After being hit with said names, as well as the more recent emergence of Emma Raducanu, Littler admitted he was unaware of some of the names put to him.

“Unbelievable, the names you have just said,” he said in an interview via The Independent.

“I know Mike, I only know Pele off FIFA and I don’t know the other ones. I have certainly broken the rules and records already but I know if my game is there I can beat even more records.

“My game is there, it is every darting kid’s, man’s, whoever’s dream to win it. I have certainly got the game, it is whatever happens on the day, whatever Luke Littler turns up.”

Littler also opened up on meeting Arsenal pair Declan Rice and Aaron Ramsdale. “It was unbelievable,” he added.

“I was walking to my room and one of the security guards from Arsenal said to me Declan and Aaron wanted a picture with me and I just went ‘a picture with me’, and they came out for one.

“They said they have a dartboard up in the changing room. It is crazy for them to want a picture with me, it should be the other way around.”