Former New Zealand team's opening midfielder, renowned Dan Carter, announced at the end of February his retirement from professional rugby at the age of 38. Carter, who played 19 professional seasons, is a two-times world champion (2011, 2015) and three-times voted the best player in the world.
"I'm officially withdrawing from professional rugby. This is a sport that I practised for 32 years and that helped me become the person that I am. I don't know how to thank everyone who played a role in my journey, particularly the fans. Rugby will always be part of my life. Thank you", wrote the famous number 10 of the "All Blacks" on social media as a farewell.
Carter had two stints in European rugby, both in France's Top 14. First at Perpignan, in 2008/09, and the second at Racing 92 between 2015 and 2018. He was currently playing for the Blues in Auckland, New Zealand, where he was looking to get some playing time after a stint with Japan's Kobelco Steelers in 2018.
Carter, who is now 39 years old, wore the "All Blacks" black jersey on 112 occasions and, therefore, is a part of rugby's "Centurions", a restricted group of (currently) 69 players with at least 100 internationalisations, which includes the Portuguese brothers Vasco Uva and Gonçalo Uva.
Carter won his place in rugby's history while playing for the "All Blacks", with whom he won the World Cup in 2011 and 2015 and was elected the best player in the world in 2005, 2012 and 2015.
In service of the New Zealand national team, he also won the Three Nations tournament on six occasions (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010) and his successor, the Rugby Championship, twice (2012 and 2013).
The testimonial of his peers: Will Greenwood
Will Greenwood, one of his peers, and also a rugby legend, says that Carter will be considered "one of the greatest players of all time". And he adds: "Some players are the best of their generation, but certain players redefine how individuals watch the game and how a position is viewed. He was an extraordinary talent. He seemed to have a lot of time and space whenever he entered the field. A fierce competitor and someone who could find a way to win the game, no matter the challenge ahead of him. He would corner his troops, lead them around the field in the right areas and, if necessary, score the points himself." Above all, Greenwood said, Carter is "a wonderful human being too".
An announced farewell
Having won Super Rugby titles, Rugby Championships, World Cups, France's Top 14, Heineken Cup and Japan's Top League, Carter felt he won everything he could in this game and had nothing more to prove. He confessed that the motivation was no longer the same and, alongside the forced stop brought about the pandemic in March 2020, he ended up concluding that this would be the right time to retire.
Having ended one of the most successful careers in modern rugby, Carter believes he can now take on coaching, but not on a full-time basis, at least for now, since one of the personal reasons that led him to withdraw was the need to be more supportive of his family. "Rugby is what I know and love, and I feel that I have a lot of knowledge that I would like to share", he said.
This isn't the last time we hear from Carter. Sooner or later, fans of the sport will get news for this amazing athlete.
Build a career of your own
We know you love rugby as well and that's the starting point for a wonderful career of your own. Start by checking out our own very special Portugal Rugby Youth Festival: teams from all over the world come to Lisbon, Portugal, to compete in the best youth rugby tournament in Europe. Who knows? This can very well be the stepping stone of an international career! We're waiting for you and your team this coming fall!