Dan Carter hangs up his boots as a study in sporting greatness | Michael Aylwin

Dan Carter hangs up his boots as a study in sporting greatness | Michael Aylwin

The Guardian

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‘Best of all time’ discussions are a futile pursuit but no player has greater claim to such a title than the All Blacks legend

In any sport, debates about the greatest of all time are almost constant and, for that reason alone, impossibly tedious – the more so in this age of incontinent social media. Such posturing is pointless. Then there is a sport like rugby. Even more pointless. How can you compare winger with prop, lock with scrum-half? How can you compare a relatively brief professional era with the long century or so of amateurism that preceded it?

Finally, there is the dread of being asked to write a tribute to some retiring superstar. How to pay sufficient tribute without embarrassing subject and self with that “greatest of all time” chestnut? No such problems with this one. Dan Carter has announced his retirement and so the man hailed by many at the tender age of 23 as the greatest they had seen, and who kept on getting greater, has left the stage at the age of 38.

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