Tom Brady acknowledged he has been "beyond blessed" in his glittering career as he prepares to contest his ninth Super Bowl with the New England Patriots this weekend.
Under the axis of their star quarterback and head coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots have established an era of dominance since the turn of the century with five Super Bowl triumphs and nine AFC Championship titles.
Standing in the way of Brady becoming the first player to capture six Super Bowl rings exclusively as a player are the Los Angeles Rams at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
It was against the Rams – then based in St Louis – in the 2001 season that the then unheralded Brady first got his hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy and what has followed since has exceeded his wildest fantasies.
The 41-year-old said at his final press conference broadcast on the Patriots' website: "I've just been beyond blessed. I think when you've been in the positions I've been in, you just count your blessings every day.
"I've just been a part of so many great teams that have had the opportunity to play in this game.
"It is once in a lifetime, this experience, but we've just been fortunate to play good enough in the playoffs to advance and then get to play in this game.
"It's hard to believe that this is the ninth time doing this."
The evergreen Brady was quick to highlight the rapport he has with Belichick as one of the reasons for his and the Patriots' sustained success.
Brady said: "What we've had, just being a part of so many great wins, I think that's obviously why we're playing. He makes a big commitment to our team and is always trying to put us in the best position to succeed.
"He and I have had a lot of meetings together over the years. We meet at least twice a week going on for 19 years.
"We've had a great working relationship, I've learned so much from him, he's been a great mentor for me and taught me so much about football.
"I was talking with my friend about how I see the game now versus how I used to see it and so much of it is coach Belichick's influence on me."
Brady has given no indication this week that this might be his final season as a player but he suggested he will not step into a coaching position once he does finally hang up his jersey.
He added: "I don't know. I'll never say never to anything, it's probably unlikely at this point. I've still got a little playing left and we'll figure out what happens after that."