Former Brazil striker Romario, who once said he had been chosen from above, scored his 1,000th goal on Sunday to enter the record books -- or, rather, his own record book.
A closer look at the tally, available for public scrutiny on the web site of his club Vasco da Gama, shows that more than 200 of his goals were scored in junior or non-competitive games.
But this detail did not prevent Brazilians from celebrating with him.
Vasco's games have been sold out since Romario struck his 998th goal in March as supporters waited to see him make history.
The Brazilian championship match against Sport Recife was interrupted for 16 minutes on Sunday as dozens of Romario's friends and relatives, plus hordes of television cameramen and reporters, ran onto the field.
Romario, a 1994 World Cup winner, was then presented with a special shirt and took a lap of honour. The rest of the game, which Vasco won 3-1, became a mere sideshow.
Romario accepts his figures would not be accepted by more scrupulous statisticians but the chase has put him back in the spotlight at 41, when most players are several years into retirement.
Three years ago Romario's career appeared headed for a ignominious end when he was sacked by Fluminense after being jeered off the field by the fans.
MAN IN THE SKY
But Vasco, the club where he began his career, took him in and in 2005 he scored 22 goals in the Brazilian championship to finish the competition's top scorer at the age of 39.
Since then, he has taken time out to play in the Beach Soccer World Cup and went on a four-month excursion to the United States to play for Miami FC -- where he added 27 goals to his tally.
Romario has become used to having his own way throughout his career, hardly surprising for someone who insists he has been singled out for greatness.
Famous for his outspoken comments, he explained one outstanding performance with the remark: "And when I was born, the man in the sky pointed to me and said 'That's the guy.'"
Romario has never been a poster boy for political correctness, publicly admitting he hated to train and claimed to play better after a night out on the town.
But "Shortie" has not always come out on top.
He spent nearly a year out of the Brazilian team in 1992/3 after complaining about being left on the bench for a friendly.
Typically, on his return he scored the two goals in a 2-0 win over Uruguay to guarantee Brazil a place in the 1994 World Cup.
He never accepted the decision to drop him in 1998 and proved his point by playing and scoring for Flamengo on the same day Brazil faced Chile in their World Cup second round match.
In 2002, he appeared to get on the wrong side of coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who left him out of the squad even though the entire country -- including President Fernando Henrique Cardoso -- was clamouring for his inclusion.
Asked if he would watch Brazil's games on television, Romario replied: "The games start at six o'clock in the morning. At that time, I'm usually getting home."http://www.rediff.com/sports/2007/may/21romario.htm