Literally another day in my life – Luke Littler unmoved by Jurgen Klopp comments

Luke Littler says seeing Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp talk about him was just another day in his crazy life.

Klopp compared his young band of players, who helped win the Carabao Cup last week and then earn a quarter-final spot in the FA Cup, to the 17-year-old, who the German described as the “new darts sensation”.

Littler, who advanced to the last 32 of the UK Open on Friday night, burst onto the scene at the World Championship over Christmas.

His historic run to the final saw him transcend the sport and become a global star, so seeing Klopp reference him was nothing out of the ordinary.

Littler, a staunch Manchester United fan, said: “I actually watched the final and the young lads are doing well, but if he wants to compares them to me then he can.

“I actually woke up and someone told me that he compared me to his young lads, so I went online and watched the video.

“I gave it a like and went on to the next video. That was literally another day in my life.”

I don’t mind who I play. It is what I dreamed of, playing in front of thousands every week, I just take it in my stride

Luke Littler

Littler is gunning for his first major title since joining the main PDC Tour at the start of the year and he looked the part in his opening match at Butlin’s in Minehead.

He averaged over 100 and produced four 100-plus finishes, including a ‘Big Fish’, as he beat James Wade 10-7.

With Michael van Gerwen surprisingly crashing out, Littler is now the favourite to win.

“I have not even thought about it, but I know if my game is there every match then I don’t see why I can’t win it,” he said.

“I don’t mind who I play. It is what I dreamed of, playing in front of thousands every week, I just take it in my stride.”

Three-time champion Van Gerwen was below par as he was dumped out at the first hurdle by Mensur Suljovic.

The Austrian has been in the darting doldrums in recent years, but posted a standout win, outplaying Van Gerwen, who appeared to be nursing an elbow injury.

Suljovic said: “I beat Michael van Gerwen, the best player in the world. I am feeling good, I am practising every day, I am a different person.

“I had a big problem with my family, I came back and practice every day, and hope I can do well in the tournament.”

Andrew Gilding began the defence of his 2023 title with a 10-7 win over Josh Payne and intends to celebrate by eating a Pot Noodle.

‘Goldfinger’ was a surprise winner last year when he beat Van Gerwen in a thrilling final and finished so late he had nothing to eat except the instant snack.

“When I won it last year there were no takeaways open so I had to eat a Pot Noodle to celebrate,” he said. “So I actually brought a couple of Pot Noodles and I’ll eat one tonight out of tradition.

“I have got a chicken and mushroom or beef and tomato. Maybe I’ll have beef and tomato with a little bit of extra ketchup, I bring my own.”

Former world champion Michael Smith said he was unable to celebrate his 10-7 win over Josh Cullen in the same way because he had already eaten one for lunch.

“I had a Pot Noodle for lunch before I came here so that’s out of the window,” he said. “I have a standing order, I get some sent every month.”

Gerwyn Price was beaten 10-9 by Martin Schindler, but there were wins for world number one Luke Humphries, Gary Anderson and Nathan Aspinall.

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