Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has hailed Dustin Martin as the best finals player of all time after the Tigers star became the first AFL player to win three Norm Smith Medals.
Martin already had a record third best-on-ground award in the bag before perhaps his most-brilliant moment in Richmond's comeback AFL grand-final win over Geelong on Saturday night.
The Tigers star pinched possession, shrugged off Patrick Dangerfield and snapped his fourth goal to leave no doubt about who was best on ground.
"He's an incredible athlete isn't he?" Hardwick told Channel 7.
"He'll go down probably now as the best finals player of all time ... the way he just controls a game and knows where to be when to be, is incredibly important."
Martin is the first man to win three best-on-grounds in AFL deciders, claiming the honours along with three premierships in the last four years and a Brownlow Medal in 2017.
"It's just surreal," Martin told Channel 7.
"I can't believe I've won three premierships and that's (the Norm Smith Medals are) just an added bonus."
The star Tiger was the unanimous best-on-ground, polling three votes from each of the medal's five voters, winning on 15 votes ahead of Jayden Short (six votes), Shane Edwards (four), Mitch Duncan (three) and Nathan Broad (two).
Only three other players in VFL/AFL history have been the best afield in two grand finals, the last being now-retired Luke Hodge for Hawthorn in 2014.
Adelaide's Andrew McLeod (1997, '98) and Hawthorn's five-time premiership player Gary Ayres (1986, '88) are the only other members of that club.
Martin's 21 touches and four goals from open play helped the Tigers first peg back Geelong's slender lead, then ram home the advantage.
"He had it (the medal) before the game I reckon," teammate Shane Edwards told Channel 7.
"He's just an amazing player to play with. I'm going to look back and cherish every game I've played with him."
Geelong skipper Joel Selwood acknowleged Martin's brilliance.
"Yeah, I mean, he was finding the ball in his phone box at times so you know we had a plan for him.
"We had a couple different plans for him. He's a good player. He's a hell of a player."
Is he unplannable?
"Uh, maybe, maybe. Yeah."
Australian Associated Press