Pele dies: Brazil striker passed into legend thanks to technicolour imagery of Mexico 1970 World Cup
The fairly new anacronym "GOAT" – Greatest of All Time – has literally become as devalued as the word "literally". Few farmers have as many GOATs as football, apparently.
But in the 1970s and early 80s, Edson Arantes do Nascimento was almost indisputably accepted as the greatest footballer of all time. The world knew him as Pele.
What Diego Maradona did in the mid- to late-80s, and Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the 21st Century has since threatened that standing but those are just pub arguments: Pele, who has died aged 82, will always be a football legend.
Greatness cannot be measured in mere numbers, perhaps just as well because Pele's were so huge and so often accumulated beyond television's scrutiny many take them with a pinch of salt.
Still, the smoke generated in the fire of an official world record 1,279 goals in 1,363 games is enough to tell you he was brilliant in front of goal.
But greatness is also about moments, images and phrase-making. Pele coined the term "the beautiful game" as well as embodying it. That he wore the No 10 shirt – as all inside-forwards did then – is partly why it became so iconic, especially in Brazil.
He played his entire club career for Santos, then New York Cosmos in his footballing dotage. Pele turned down multiple offers from Real Madrid and others, though the suspicion was Brazil's government would have stopped him leaving anyway.
Santos toured the world milking far more money out of their magician than he saw in his playing days. Pele was prolific in the European friendlies normally played in front of capacity crowds.
But it is four consecutive World Cups his legend is built on.
He was kicked out of the 1962 and 1966 editions, defenders exploiting lax refereeing when brutality seemed the only way to stop him.
But in 1958, Pele broke the record (now Norman Whiteside's) as the World Cup's youngest player as a 17-year-old who had already risen from a poor background to be a star of domestic football. In the days before substitutes he was no bit-part player and Brazil no ordinary team.
Injured at the start of the tournament, he scored the only goal of his second appearance to knock Wales out of the quarter-finals, two against France in the semi-finals and two more to beat hosts Sweden and win Brazil's first World Cup.
He was crowned at Mexico 1970 – the first World Cup on colour television.
Disenchanted by his treatment in Chile and England, the 30-year-old was coaxed out of retirement for a farewell tournament.
Flitting between centre-forward and midfield in one of history's most talented teams, Pele scored four goals, including one in the final against Italy. Twice he leapt iconically – once to head the ball in, then into Jairzinho's arms to celebrate.
The 4-1 victory saw Brazil keep the Jules Rimet Trophy having won it three times, all with Pele in the squad.
But his tournament was full of imagery, more often of near-misses. He very nearly scored from the halfway line against Czechoslovakia and found the side netting from a tight angle after an outrageous dummy on Uruguay goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz in the semi-final. Gordon Banks' save from him in the group stage was widely regarded as football's greatest and the picture of Pele embracing Bobby Moore at full-time in an epic encounter symbolised sportsmanship.
Pele took joy in praising the greatness of others and coming out of retirement in 1975 for three years trying to effectively launch football in America set him up as footballing statesman. He was even Brazil's sports minister.
In his 70s ill-health largely took him from the public eye, mention of his name prompting trepidation rather than joy.
Whether he was the greatest does not matter. What does is that those privileged to watch him will never see another like it and those who did not will forever have missed out.