Neymar Surpasses Pele as Brazil’s All-Time Leading Goalscorer

Neymar with Brazil national team in 2018
Neymar with Brazil national team in 2018. Photo by Paul Greenwood/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9699676u)

Neymar scored two goals on Friday to help Brazil national team get a 5-1 win over Bolivia and managed to make some history in the process. The new Al Hilal forward ended the night as the nation’s all-time leading goalscorer, surpassing the legendary Pele.

Pele scored 77 goals for Brazil in international matches between 1957 and 1971. Neymar, who made his senior team debut in 2010, equaled Pele’s goal tally during the 2022 FIFA World Cup and has now topped it in the first opportunity he got.

Neymar had a chance to break Pele’s record in the 17th minute via penalty kick, but Bolivia’s goalie Guillermo Viscarra saved his shot. The 31-year-old made amends in the second half, extending Brazil’s lead to 4-0 with a clinical finish in the penalty box. He then added another goal in similar fashion during the extra time.

“I never imagined reaching this record. I want to say that I am not a better player than Pele,” Neymar told reporters after the match. “I always wanted to make my own story, write my name in the history of Brazilian football and the national team. And today I did that.”

Neymar scored 79 goals for Brazil in 125 international matches. He still lacks a big trophy with the national team, only having a FIFA Confederations Cup win in 2013 on his resume.

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