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The greatest ever: Slater's praise for 'ridiculous' Smith

Billy Slater expects record-breaking Melbourne captain Cameron Smith to take everything in his stride when he runs out for his 400th game against the Sharks on Saturday night.

Not many know Smith as well as Slater does, with the duo born on the same day and having lined up alongside each other for club, country and state on numerous occasions since they began their careers just 12 months apart at the start of last decade.

And while Slater finished his career at the end of last season, the evergreen Smith continues to defy his age and will become the first player to reach the 400-game milestone when he runs out to captain the Storm against one of their biggest rivals at AAMI Park this weekend.

Slater said the feat was a "ridiculous" achievement on its own, but that the quality of Smith's performances over the years makes the milestone even more impressive.

"Just consider the quality of football he has played within that 400," Slater said on Tuesday.

"It hasn't just been 400 games. It's the 50 tackles in the middle. He is the best passer, the best kicker and he has got the best attributes a rugby league player can have.

"Benji Marshall and Gavin Cooper are playing their 300th game this week... and 300 games in the NRL, in the most brutal sport in the world is such a great achievement.

Smith humbled by historic milestone

"And then you have got this bloke that is playing 400 and is still the best player in the world.

"He is a remarkable football player. He has made this club a better club and it is going to be a great celebration this weekend.

"Let's just enjoy the 400 for what it is as no one has ever done it before and it is going to take a very special player to do it again."

Slater said Smith would soak up all the pressure during the week ahead of Saturday night's festivities and play just as well as he has done on 399 other occasions.

"I think he has sustained a fair bit of pressure throughout his career, so I don't think it [the build-up] will worry him," Slater said.

"I think he will acknowledge that the week is going to be about him, and the game is going to be about him, but I don't think it will affect his performance."

And Slater sees no reason why Smith can't continue and add to his tally in the coming seasons.

How will rugby league remember Cameron Smith?

"He doesn't rely on speed, so he can continue his game if he does lose a bit of speed," Slater noted.

"To be the best you need two things. You need to be able to deliver on the big stage and you need and you need to be able to do it for a long period of time.

"There has been no player in the game that has done those two things more and better than Cameron Smith.

"He will go down as the greatest player to have ever played this game, both quality and quantity."

Be there to witness history as Cameron Smith plays his milestone match - Tickets available

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