Eymar surpassed legendary Brazilian striker Pelé’s national goalscoring record in his country’s 5-1 win over Bolivia in qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.
The 31-year-old, who recently moved to Saudi club Al-Hilal, bounced back after missing a penalty in the first half by scoring twice in the 61st and 93rd minutes to become the team’s top scorer with 79 goals country of all time.
“Congratulations Neymar on surpassing the king of goals for Brazil,” wrote the official account of the late Brazilian soccer legend Pelé on X, the platform formerly called Twitter. “Pele will applaud you for sure today!”
Neymar said after the game: “I never thought I would reach that record.
“I want to say that I’m not a better player than Pele. I always wanted to write my own story and write my name in the history of Brazilian football and the national team. And today I did that.”
Neymar made 125 appearances for Brazil and was part of the team that won the Confederations Cup in 2013.
Real Madrid’s Rodrygo also scored a brace, opening the scoring in the 24th minute and scoring his second in the 52nd after a great through ball from Newcastle midfielder Bruno Guimaraes to make it 3-0.
“It’s really a very special day… Neymar is my idol. The opportunity to help him become top scorer will stay with me forever,” Rodrygo, 22, told Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo.
Raphinha, who replaced Antony in the Brazil squad, made it 2-0 with a shot at the far post in the opening seconds of the second half after collecting Neymar’s pass on the edge of the box. Bolivia scored the consolation goal with a powerful shot by Victor Abrego in the 78th minute.
Brazil will look to continue their good form when they visit Peru in the second round of CONMEBOL qualifying on Tuesday.
Uruguay got their qualifying campaign off to a good start with a 3-1 home win against Chile, giving former Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa his first official win as manager.
Additional reporting from Reuters.
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/neymar-pele-brazil-goal-record-b1105966.html Neymar opens up about the Pele comparison after breaking the Brazilian legend’s goals record