Billy Slater has signed off his illustrious career after Melbourne Storm went down to the Sydney Roosters in the NRL grand final.
Slater did not get the fairytale finish with the Storm soundly beaten 21-6.
The fullback has now hung up his boots after 16 years in the sport.
"It’s not how we planed but thats footy, that’s the way it goes somehow," he told Channel Nine.
"They were better than us in the first half and just got out to a big lead and we just couldn’t pull them back in. We tried our best but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
"I’m really grateful for the career I’ve had, I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made and what rugby league’s done for me. It’s taught me a lot of things – selflessness, respect and I appreciate everything that everyone’s done for me."
Slater admitted Melbourne made it hard for themselves in the grand final, but paid tribute to his friend Cooper Cronk.
"We didn’t help ourselves, we dropped a bit of the ball," the 35-year-old said.
"I think the Roosters were just too good. Their carries out of their end were much better than ours, they were holding us up and dragging us back, and when they got the ball they were fighting on the ground and playing the ball quick.
"We just couldn’t handle their big guys at the start of the first half and it just got them snowballing their way. I’m shattered for our team but I’ve proud of the performance he [Cooper Cronk] put in tonight.