GAA historian Paul Rouse has lauded Dublin as 'the greatest Gaelic football team' of all time following their All-Ireland five in a row.
The UCD lecturer and former Offaly manager believes that the Dubs top the list ahead of the Kerry Golden Years team and even the Kingdom’s first four in a row side of 1929-’32 because they have achieved something that was never done before.
"I think they can lay fair claim to being the greatest Gaelic football team that has ever been produced since the start of the Gaelic Athletic Association," said Rouse, speaking on the latest edition of the RTÉ GAA Podcast.
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"Teams can’t play across generations, but the sheer weight of numbers are in their favour. They did something no one else has done, that’s the bottom line and it allows them to claim to be the greatest Gaelic football team ever seen.
"That is a credit to them, a credit to how they went about it and how they play. To do anything other than to congratulate them is off-beam."
In their most successful decade ever, the Dubs won seven All-Irelands, six of them under Jim Gavin after Pat Gilroy got the ball rolling as manager in 2011, and the Boys in Blue have captured Sam Maguire for the past five consecutive seasons.
In football, Kerry twice and Wexford, and in hurling Cork and Kilkenny all won previous four in a rows, but five had never been done before 2019.
"I think it's the 'in a row’ thing here," said Rouse, emphasising Dublin’s achievements. "Other great teams have done four in a row.
"The great Kerry team of ’29 to ’32 lays claim to be the best team that came out of Kerry; Éamonn Fitzmaurice said in the Examiner that this team held the record until this current Dublin team of unbeaten matches consecutively.
"Wexford did it in the middle of the Great War, ’15-’18, Kilkenny hurlers nearly got there but none of them managed it, none of those extraordinary teams managed it.
"Despite the weight of expectations, Dublin, who nearly came apart in the drawn game a player down, despite the hits they took, they managed it.
"My main take-home from the season is the last ten minutes of the drawn game and the way Dublin controlled themselves. Kerry in ’82 had a few minutes after Séamus Darby’s goal, they had plenty of ball, but they blew up.
"Dublin just found a way and again they found a way – a team that finds a way again and again says an awful lot about them," said Rouse.