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'If Mayo go and win I still think that Dublin are probably the greatest team we've ever seen'

Billy Joe Padden gives his verdict on this afternoon’s All-Ireland senior football final at Croke Park.

BILLY JOE PADDEN has hailed Dublin as the greatest football team he’s ever seen.

However, the former Mayo star believes his own county are primed to deny Jim Gavin’s side a third consecutive All-Ireland title in this afternoon’s decider at Croke Park.

Padden admitted that if the teams were to meet in a US-style series of seven games, Dublin would emerge victorious against their rivals from the west.

But speaking ahead of the game on The42′s Close Calls, Padden — while acknowledging his biased outlook — backed Stephen Rochford’s to end the county’s 66-year wait for Sam Maguire.

“I think they’ve learned an awful lot and I think they’re ahead of the curve in terms of how teams should play against Dublin,” said Padden, a three-time Connacht title winner.

“I think they’re ready for the sort of mental task that it is because you have to be alert and aggressive and totally focused for the full 75 minutes. You can’t let it lapse at any stage, or else Dublin will just walk all over the top of you. I think they’ve proven that they can do that. They’ll need to do it again obviously.

Stephen Cluxton with Andy Moran Mayo's Andy Moran and Dublin's Stephen Cluxton. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“I think also that they’ve added something to their gameplan in terms of their ability to retain the ball. That’s absolutely vital against Dublin.

“I accept that I’m totally biased, I’m a Mayo man, I want to see it happen. If Mayo go and win I still think that Dublin are probably the greatest team we’ve ever seen. I don’t think that’s going to change. If they were to play a series of seven [games], Dublin would win the series.

“I just feel that the way Mayo are battle-hardened, the way they’re focused on this game, the way that maybe Dublin haven’t had any challenges this summer, I think that may have an impact on them — that maybe Mayo will just be that bit sharper on the day and will have enough to get the job done.”

Watch the full show below:

Source: The42.ie/YouTube

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Paul Dollery

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