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2020-04-27 09:59:00 GMT
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Who Is the Greatest AFL Player of All Time?
Throughout the AFL's 124-year history, us fans have, on occasion, been blessed with the arrival of a sporting legend. While there are countless top-notch players from across the League that are worth highlighting, the number of truly game-changing players, of the kind that are remembered for years and decades after their retirement, is undoubtedly smaller.
Greatness only comes along once in a blue moon, but when it does, a team's fortunes can be changed permanently, with the benefits lingering long after the player in question has left the stage. With that in mind, let's take a look at the Aussie Rules players that can truly be considered worthy of legendary status as the best of the best.
Gary Ablett Senior
While Gary Ablett Junior is a formidable player, his legacy simply cannot compare to the one left behind by his father. Simply nicknamed 'God' by his legions of fans, Ablett Senior was the name in Aussie Rules throughout the 1980s and 90s, whose contribution to the sport has been recognized in sculptures, statues, street names, and sports bars across the country.
If there is any current AFL player that could reasonably be described as one of the GOATs, then it's Lance Franklin. The Sydney Swans full forward has the most career goals of any current AFL player, with a staggering 944 under his belt. His consistent ability to win is why the Swans are currently the hot favourites in the world of Aussie Rules betting and look set to be for the foreseeable future. Once he leaves the Swans, there is no doubt he will be remembered as an AFL legend.
Despite his somewhat unconventional reputation in the years following his retirement, Wayne Carey will always be remembered first and foremost as one of the best AFL players to ever hit the pitch. His time as centre half-forward for the North Melbourne Football Club during the 1990s earned him the nickname 'King', as well as official recognition as the greatest footballer in Australian history in 2011.
Despite hanging up his footy boots in the 1960s, the late and great Ted Whitten is still remembered by multiple generations of fans as one of the best players to have lived. A five-time winner of the prestigious Charles Sutton Medal, as well as having one of the highest career goal scores in history, Whitten is a legend in every sense of the word. There's a reason fans still refer to him by his old nickname, 'Mr. Football'.
Leigh Matthews, who is familiar to most as the AFL commentator and pundit, is probably the best small forward who has ever lived. With 915 goals under his belt, he continues to hold the distinction of most goals ever scored by a non-full-forward by a considerable margin. In addition, his time spent coaching the Brisbane Lions, transforming them into the most formidable club in the league, is a testament to his mastery of Aussie Rules.
Few people would disagree that these players are the best in the business. Of course, we might see new legends emerge in the seasons ahead, which is all the more reason for you to watch this space.
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