How Carlos Alberto established his legacy as one of the greats

Updated: 

It was one of the greatest goals by undoubtedly one of the best teams to have played the game.

Brazil's 1970 World Cup-winning squad is, to this day, regarded as one of the most entertaining sides to have stepped onto a football pitch.

Coached by Mario Zagallo, the Selecao played a free-flowing brand of football that brought joy to fans in all corners of the globe. To this day, the image of that group still has a major influence on the philosophy that is expected from the Brazilian national side - players are expected to embody joy, passion and flamboyance.

Their swashbuckling style was exemplified in one single move on the grandest stage of them all - the fourth goal in the final against Italy at Estadio Azteca, lashed in by captain Carlos Alberto.

The electric right-back, nicknamed 'o Capita' due to his marked leadership qualities in a squad that included iconic names like Pele, Rivelino and Gerson, surged unnoticed up the flank to produce a drilled finish which completed a 4-1 victory and secured Brazil a third World Cup trophy.

It was an emphatic end to a move that saw nine yellow shirts play a role, with Clodoaldo and Pele integral. Mercurial midfielder Clodoaldo dribbled past four Italy players in the space of little over four seconds, before offloading to Rivelino.

Rivelino's pass down the left wing found Jairzinho, who dribbled inside with typical menace and moved possession on to Pele. With the utmost composure, Pele turned to his right and nonchalantly rolled the ball into what appeared to be vacant space. It was not. A slight bobble proved no issue for Carlos Alberto as he charged in, rifling across Enrico Albertosi and into the far corner.

Com muito pesar informamos que, na manhã desta terça-feira (25/10), o nosso eterno Capitão, Carlos Alberto Torres, faleceu no Rio de Janeiro. #CapitaEterno

Posted by Carlos Alberto Torres on Tuesday, 25 October 2016

"We only realised how beautiful the goal was after the game," he said in an interview with the BBC in 2006.

"The emotion, of course, when I scored that goal was incredible, but after the game, and still today, I realise how beautiful and how important that goal was because everybody is still talking about it.

"Nobody talks about Pele's goal, the first goal, the second goal. It is always about the fourth goal. I think it was the best goal ever scored in a World Cup."

It was the crowning moment of a brilliant competition for O Capita, who played every single minute of the competition in Mexico and touched the ball 513 times, a total only surpassed by Germany's Wolfgang Overath.

He accumulated a total of 53 caps for Brazil and secured a legacy as one of the greatest in his position. He combined professionalism with the qualities desired of an attacking wing-back that the likes of Djalma Santos and Nilton Santos had begun to make synonymous with the Selecao in the 1950s.

Carlos Alberto set the mould that names such as Cafu, Maicon and Dani Alves have tried to replicate in the years since - the former perhaps coming closest to matching the stature in which his predecessor is held.

However, o Capita, just 25 when he lifted the Jules Rimet trophy, was denied a chance to add further international honours by a knee injury that kept him out of the 1974 World Cup and robbed him of that explosive pace.

He continued to enjoy success at a domestic level, winning titles at Santos, where he again linked up with Pele, Fluminense and the New York Cosmos

A largely unsuccessful managerial career could not take the gloss off his achievements as a player - and a personality - who provided one of the sport's greatest moments.