Greatest AFL Players Ever

The greatest players in the history of the Australian Football League. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Gary Ablett
Gary Ablett is an amazing and awesome player he never takes his eyes off the ball and most importantly he is not afraid to lose, I mean he use to be on one of the best ever AFL sides and then he changed to the worst team
So clearly he is the best AFL player EVER
(Camron ling should be second):D:):]
By far the greatest player in terms of passion, class and showing how the game should be played.
Gary abblet has so muck skill he could beat collingwood by him self
[Newest]You can see we're his talent comes from

2Leigh Matthews
This man is the best voted best player of all time. Kicked 915 goals as a small forward, and voted player of the century. Won 8 premiership medallions as a coach and player for the hawks, he's won a coleman and 9 best and fairest.
The best "rover" in the game, later to then become the best small forward in the game. Simply ruthless on his attack on the ball, opposing players ( sometimes to his detriment) and pesky point posts at "Windy Hill". His nickname to VFL fans was "Lethal", but to the Hawks faithful he was always known as "Barney" as in Barney Rubble. Brute strength is what broke the point post that day and he only received a little lump on his elbow from it. I'm glad I was there to see this happen and for it to reinforce the "Legend that is "Leigh Matthews.
The man dominated every team and player he came up against every single week for 10 years. When Matthews was playing there was no doubt who the alfa dog was - he knew it and ever single player in the adl in the 80's knew he was the best.
[Newest]915 goals and he was a rover... Enough said

3Wayne Carey
Best contested mark the game has ever seen and as good at ground level as anyone his size has ever been. Best on-field leader of the modern game. The complete package who dominated from centre half forward but could play anywhere if required. What puts him above all others though is his match-winning ability. He wasn't just great, he was great when he needed to be!
There has been no better player than Wayne Carey. His strength, athleticism and skills were obvious but equally important was his huge work ethic. He rarely, if ever, played a bad game and was the consumate match winner. Despite immense attention throughout his whole career, he never succumbed to injury or poor form and routinely played at a level that most players could only dream of. Unlike some of his feted peers, he was instrumental in his team winning premierships. Not more than you can ask, really. Mark M.
Wayne was near on bigger than the game, if he didn't play people didn't watch that game..
This is a man who never knew how to lose to the extent that when he played for the Kangaroos they had the 2nd best win/loss ratio over 9 years other than hawthorns 80s teams..
[Newest]He is freaky should be number 1

4Gary Ablett Sr.
Greatest player I have seen he has brilliant consistency. He is the best kick ever. To kick 65 metres on your right foot and 60 on your left is amazing, when some players can not even kick 50. He kick a kick against hawthorn that went around 80 metres. He had excellent hands and perfect judgement. His speed is astonishing he could not bet beat. Ablett could have the whole back line on him and still kick goals. 9 goals against richmond at half time from the wing is incredible. He had the best season of any footballer in 1993. He his the best footballer by a country mile.
he can do anything you want he once kicked 18 goals he took the best mark and it still is he is tough he is a great man!
He was my favourite player to watch growing up, there was nothing this man couldn't do on a footy field, the defender needed to be as quick and fit as a midfielder but also big and strong to beat him in the air so was near unstoppable in his prime.
[Newest]Is easily the best player of all time by a long way

5James Hird
Seemed to always have time when in possession, unbelievable grace and talent
Better than all except for maybe ablett snr and carey. But better to watch than carey and premierships which ablett snr did not. Judd and ablett jnr close but can't match the flair!
The best 4 sure him and matthew lloyd made the afl superb
[Newest]James hird just a gentleman and he is the number 1 player of all time

6Chris Judd
CHRIS JUDD is by far the best player the AFL has ever seen duel brownlow medalist and a real ball getter. He has been the best player in his era and the most outstanding player VFL/AFL has ever seen he's an out right legend.
Judd's contested football, ability to get the ball away to a teammate when he has 3 players hanging off him and his ability to turn a game is second to none. Now he's starting to kick goals. Magnificent
chris judd is by far the best he's got the paste talent and one of the best centre clearences in the afl and already wrapped up 2 brownlows how good is that
[Newest]As good as ablett!

7Ted Whitten
Ted Whitten is nicknamed "Mr Football" because he is the best at football
If your're called mr football, I think it's for a good reason.

One of the top Aussies to have ever set foot on this land.
So good a oval is named after him
[Newest]I tell you what if Ted played at Collingwood he would be # 1 and that's the problem.

8Tony Lockett
Will I ever see the day that anyone gets close to Lockett's record. I won't hold my breath!
Greatest ever goalkicker but none of his 2 clubs stkilda and sydney could give him a premiership for all the work he had done he carried stkilda for 1o years on his own shoulders he was stkilda


7 goals or more in a game - 22 times. 22 times! Won more games of his own boot that any other player in history. Destroyed every great full back in his era (Silvani, Langford, Lynch, Martin etc). The greatest Full Forward the game has ever seen. If he'd played at a better club than St. Kilda in his heyday, would have kicked over 20 goals a match more than once.
Tony lockett is a monster

9NIck Maxwell
What a joke. Maxwell has never had an opponent in his life, all he does is punch when he could mark the footy. Any muppet can do that. Can 't kick the ball either. He's not in the best 500 of all time, let alone, the top ten.
I think this is pathetic he should be know where near the top 5 and there is way tougher players than him. He's to soft
No way is he top 5 I go for collingwood and he not even in there top. Leigh matthews is the best footballer of all time
[Newest]One of the best premiership captains in history enough said

10Nathan Buckley
Hands down to Nathan Buckley who has been a Collingwood all time great. Hard nut at the footy, and was so close to winning a premiership for the pies. Definitely should be in the top 5!
I hate collingwood but this guy could play. He should be 5th not nick maxwell whos done nothing as captain since taking over buckley. He held the cup in 2010 because of his team mates leadership not his
Hands down better then hird. Buckley had a left foot as well as everything else jimmy had. Best player to not win a flag.
[Newest]Extremely unlucky to not receive a premiership medal. Very deserving that would have been for him

The Contenders

11Bobby Skilton
With 3 brownlow medals is one of the greatest
Triple Brownlow medalist. Enough Said
Clarly the best here having won 3 brownlow medals plus he played for south melbourne!

12Michael Voss
Did all the hard unnoticed work in a scrap as well as performed the miraculous. An absolute game changer, he led his team by example, put his body on the line and did whatever had to be done to inspire his team.
led his team to 3 consecutive premierships and just lost in the fourth one.


Sheer ability to turn a game puts him top four for me. Hard ball gets.. amazing
[Newest]Should be in top 5, player and leader = amazing

13Robert Harvey
Dual/Back-to-Back Brownlow Medalist in 1997 and 1998, used to always beat his opponent physically and mentally. Equally polled the most votes in a season in 1998 until Dane Swan's victory with 34 in 2011. Could run all day and gather around over 30 possessions a match. Used to leave midfielders such as Buckley, Voss, Riccuito, West and Crawford metres behind him.
Most underrated player ever. Amazing ability to hit target after target with his 20-30metre short passes/
His level of sportsman ship and ability to run any other player on this list off their legs should really have him at no. 1

14Jason Dunstall
For someone who just got behind opponents and pushed ( sarcasm intended) he was an extraordinary mark on the lead. Great hands, accurate kick and only Pratt and Hudson kicked more goals in a season and they never dished one off to a team mate. He was a fantastic big game player and continued at an elite level even when Hawthorn went in to a decline.
A cheat, all he ever did was get behind his opponent and shove

15Alex Jesaulenko
Jezza you Beauty enough said Jezza is one of the greatest players of all time if not the best he was able to take brilliant marks kick great goals the only blue to kick a century of goals in a season and took the mark of the century in the 1970 grand final kicked 7 in 1972 and was the last captain coach to captain coach a premiership in 1979.

16Kevin Bartlett
The ordinary man who did extraordinary things.

17John Coleman
Don't undrstand how he isn't in the top 5 kicked over 500 goals in just 96 games. Brilliant

18Matthew Lloyd
Matthew should still play. I play footy and I look up to him a lot. His my hero. That's why I love the bombers. In the EJ game (2013) he was a superstar I've got something to say Matthew you ROCK
A true legend of the game. One of the best players I've ever seen.
I think he should be at 10

19Buddy Franklin
The very best player in the game bar none. To kick 65 -70 goals a year and play Winger, Half forward, Full Forward is a testament to the complete player that he is. I reckon he will have 900 or 1000 goals by 2021.
Buddy not quite there yet but will be one of the greats. This poll has no accuracy as a lot of players have not completed their careers. If the poll was based statistically the greatest would be Lethal Leigh Matthews!
kicks the ball right to left THATS AMAZING
[Newest]You always goal that fab

20Ron Barassi

21Peter Daicos
So talented and changed the game with his amazing skills

22Peter Hudson
A fantastic foward player & a gentleman to boot

23Matthew Richardson
He was clearly the best player of all time
Never took his eye off the ball
Able to take flying marks
One of the most accurate goalkickers of all time
An amazing player who deserves to be much higher up on this list
The richo man is the best
Probs not the most accurate kick but a richmond high flying mark legend

24Mark Riccuito
One of the best players of all time and without a doubt the best Italian player of all time can play as a midfielder and small forward. Equal holder for the most All AustraliaN with Robert havey with 8 equal best and fairest for thr crows with 3 equaled with bujji and goody and a brownlow I reckon Andrew mcleod is still better then him but he is a champion. Now he has handed his jumper to... Patrick Dangerfield who is a gun quick, good long kick, talented and has spark very good plyer patrick dangerfield remember his goal against freemantle assisted by tippo

25Greg Williams
Should be in top 5 @least. Vision on field 2nd to none.

26Adam Goodes
Dual brownlow medal winner. 2x premiership player. He goes alright
Dual brownlow medal winner. Enough said!
He's so good he can beat the magpies by himself easily, he should at least be in the top 5.
[Newest]Adam you are so amazing at footy

27Graham Farmer

28Matthew Pavlich
How is your head.P.S. how did you lose to the worst team? You should be ashamed of your self and your team. How did you lose to Lenny Hayes's last game? Boo Dockers
Much better then a lot off those players above. Should be in the top 15
Great captain of freo and has made Fremantle what it is today

29Stephen Silvagni
Silvagni is the best full back in afl history he should be in the top 10 instead of nick maxwell

30John Nicholls

31Royce Hart
If football was an art form Royce was the master artist, great leap in his younger days, seemingly out of a contest would soar through the air to take a crucial grab and goal with a flat punt. Was a big game player would would run on when the game was in the balance and lift the team. The whole team lifted when he was on the field and was instrumental in the 73/74 flags.
Royce is the 2nd best player ever. He invented current footballs skills. He taught himself how to kick a drop punt and was a genius at it. His high jumping technique for marking is perfect. He is the best captain ever. He stood up and guided Richmond to flags in 67, 69, 73 and 74.
Hart was a Richmond all star and took one of the greatest mark of all time WHAT A CHAMPION!

32Bruce Doull
Bruce Doull Greatest Defender ever and very reliable should be in top 10 players of all time
Best defender of his era.

33Kevin Sheedy

34Dean Cox
The best ruckman and he does heaps of center work.


I like you Coxy but you should play a bad game and then retire so you could give Natnui and Lycet a turn at the ruck so they become great ruck man like you. Go Eagles!

35Gordon Coventry
In his heyday this man is the difference between Collingwood and the rest of the VFL team. In the late twenties and the early thirties. A tough and rugged players who drew the attention of every coach when he plays. Makes a habit of kicking 100 goals a seasonis at atime were on 16 games a season. Where Tony Lockett needed motivation to kick his 1000 or so goals Gordon Covenry set a legacy that took other full forwards overifty years to surpass. The greatest spearhead of all time.

36Haydn Bunton, Sr.
Fitzroy captain 1936-1937
Fitzroy coach 1936
Best and fairest 2x
Fitzroy leading goal kicker 2x
Brownlow 3x first ever out of 4
Sandover 3x
Hall of fame legend
Team of the century
Fitzroy team of the century
Why isn't he number 1?
Absolute legend 3 times brownlow medalist also in his first 2 years should be first.
Only player to play over 50 games and average over 1 brownlow medal vote per game.

37Gary Dempsey
1975 Brownlow medalist and one of the greatest ruckman. Suffered severe burns in the Lara Bushfires and was told he would never play AFL again - but came back and proved that doctor wrong with 6 Best and Fairests and the record for the most awarded Brownlow votes.

38Ian Stewart
3 x Brownlow medals. Enough said.
3 x Brownlow medals. Enough said.
3 x Brownlow medals. Enough said.

39Jonathan Brown
2002 Mark of the year winner
2007 Coleman medalist
Brisbane Lions 2001, 2002, 2003 Premiership player
Brisbane Lions captain 2007 present
Merret-Murray medalist 2007, 2008, 2009
Victorian Representative 2008
All-Austalian Representative 2007 and 2009

Jonathan Brown is by far the greatest AFL player of all time

40Nick Riewoldt
Hard working and my opinion is that he is either the BEST footy player of all time or the best for saint kilda..

He's been playing for years as the captain and he's still having a go!
Honest, hard working, never give up attitude... Plays for the team every game. Demands the most & the best from himself... And his team mates. A good leader/teacher for the kids.
Courageous and never takes his eyes off the ball

41Sam Mitchell
I think Mitchell's a great player sets up goals in the forward line and can be great in the centre.


He's a Gun
He's amazing. He doesn't have a preferred foot. When lining up for goal, he must be deciding which foot to kick with. He's also great with his clearances.
I think you are a great midfielder for hawthorn

42Barrie Robran
Wont get many votes because only south aussies got to see him. 3 Magary medals. Often kicked a bag from centre. Quietly spoken gentlman of the game, not interested in money, stayed loyal to North Adelaide when half a dozen VFL clubs were bidding for him. Think Nick Riewoldt crossed with Chris Judd.

He was the greatest ever to lace up.

43Andrew McLeod
Two norm smith medals deserves top 20 that all I need o say
Great reader of the game

44Dustin Fletcher
He's been around for 19 years and still plays the game to an excellent level.
Dustin is the best defender

45Ryan Griffen
He is far the best in the Western Bulldogs and defintly is in the top ten players of 2013 he might have a chance to sneak in to getting the brownlow medal this year. He is a Star of the AFL because of his Kicking, marking, tackling and basically every thing You Beauty Ryan Griffin!

46Daniel Giansiracusa
Has stood the test of time. His grey hair while still playing shows it.
Top Dog. Goes hard and never gives up.

47Matthew Scarlett
Matthew scarlett is so good at being a defender. he could probably do it with his eyes closed!
Great artist to the club with lots of goals
Greatest defender of all time!

48Simon Black
I don't see how black isn't in the top 10 when he must be at least number 3 the only player to win a normsmith medal, brownlow and reach 300 games in 116 years of football that's truly impressive
Easily been on of the best players of the last few decades, should definitely be higher up in the list.
He is one of the best players should be in top 30 maybe not even maybe even 20

49Ben Cousins
Heart and soul of his footy club. Endurance gutsy player got to be up there with the greats on the field and on the party
One if the best of all time would be shocked to see him not in the top 19 he sure deserves it!
Amazing player very talented. Up there amongst the best for sure.

50Jack Dyer
He was an allstar footy player he couched and played for richmond

51David Wirrpunda
David is the best player in the AFL season he knows how to mark and kick goals
Great player, plays back and forward. He's so calm on the field and always seems to know what to do.


52Bob Rose
Best footballer I have seen I hadn't been collingwood player would have been in the hall of fame in stead of some others in the hall of fame the selector were pretty bias
The toughest there has been

53Brad Fisher
Great talent, AFL's Most Under-rated

54Glenn Archer
Hard and brave, one of the best on field leaders.

55Gavin Wanganeen
Courageous, skilled and mighty big game player - loved his ability to accelerate and contort his body like no other

56Michael Tuck

57Brent Harvey
His a fast guy who can out run other players and doesn't take free shots instead he plays on
He is a legend for North and the games record holder.
Amazing longevity. Could pass 400 games. Still one of the most damaging players with ball in hand gonig forward.

58Daniel Motlop
Motlop shouldn't be on this list, he was skillful and was a good forward when he wanted to be Kane cornes should be here a unrecognized work horse and legend of the port Adelaide football club

59Lenny Hayes

60Cyril Rioli
He is the best crumber in the league he's also a very passionate guy I love him.
How is Cyril not in the top ten!
He never falls over

61Anthony Koutoufides
Kouta was the best player of his era he is the one that changed football to the style of game we see today

62Kurt Tippett
Kurt Tippett will seriously be it soon such a great player strong, quick, tall, takes contested marks, good at ground level 10 times better then tex walker walker anit that good though tippo is better by far.

63Luke Dahlhaus

64Michael Long
the greatest indigenous player ever to play the game


65Tony Liberatore

66Cedric Bonner

67Richard Tambling
Greatest player I've ever seen. Absolutely rocked the little league

68Jobe Watson
Should be ranked far higher up he is a huge player of the game and a massive asset to the club
Brownlow medal winner in 2012 and good player
He Is Great AFL Player He Should Be At Least In The To 20

69Shane Tuck
Arguably the greatest midfielder of the all time - certainly his generation. Can push forward and kick multiple goals with several defenders hanging off him while also possessing the football nous to go back and take crucial, game saving marks. Single-handedly brought Richmond back from the brink of folding with his heart and soul.
The man can play, an absolute superstar of the game. His legacy will continue to wow the younger generations

70Haydn Bunton

71Mark Orchard

72Stephen Kernahan
Greatest captain ever. Given everything to football and Carlton
Superb mark, great leader, awesome player.
Stood up and won more games off his actions
Han another player from his era

73Tom Swift

74Darrel Baldock
I have seen Darren played brilliant, he was very good ball getter better than everyone how St Kildare won premiership, he was captain. Yet I am not Saint supporter.

75Jack Watts
His ability to take Intercept marks in 4 week patches is amazing
He is amazing. Beautiful hair, pretty eyes.

76Ed Lower

77Dick Reynolds

78Maurice Rioli
Maurice Rioli spent a lot of time dominating the WAFL, so the awareness of his greatness is perhaps not as great in states other than WA.

79Keith Greig

80Ashley Sampi
Lazy player who had the world at his feet could have been better than lecras if he layed off the turtle and export

81Tim Watson

82Matthew Liptak
Greatest doctor to platy the game

83Keith Bromage

84Simon Madden

85Sam Newman

86Craig Bradley

87Will Hoskin-Elliott
A great giant as he does anything. He should be named in a higher position. Go will

88Shane Crawford

89Ben Kearns

90Peter Matera
Never seen a player who could paddle the ball out in front and be in complete control, like Peter Matera could. Anyone who saw him play will attest that on his day he was almost unbeatable.

91Roy Wright

92Albert Collier
Great player no one better

93Syd Coventry
best back man ever 4 time preamship captin and browlow

94Cameron Ling
I can;t believe he is rated this far down! He should at least be in the top ten

95Bob Pratt
Best player ever deserves to be 1 first person to score 150 goals in a season

96Albert Thurgood

97Luke Power

98Paul Salmon

99Geoff Southby

100Barry Cable
If Polly Farmer was the father of handball, Cable was the prodigal son. Great vision and hands, how many times did he win the the world of sport handball comp. instrumental in Norths first premierships.

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This list was created 6 years, 331 days ago and has been voted on over 2,000 times. This top ten list contains 139 items, has been remixed 27 times and has been blogged about 1 times.

Updated Thursday, December 18, 2014

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