Neymar has surpassed a long-standing Brazil record, overtaking Pele to become the nation’s all-time top goalscorer upon his return to the national side.
The 31-year-old forward experienced a significant change in his club career this summer, transitioning from Paris Saint-Germain to the Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, joining the growing list of prominent players making moves to the Middle East.
Last night, Neymar made his first appearance for the Seleção in six months as Brazil engaged in World Cup qualifying action against Bolivia. It turned out to be an unforgettable game for him.
In a resounding victory, Brazil defeated Bolivia 5-1 in a match that featured significant moments. Neymar initially had a tepid early penalty saved, but Real Madrid’s Rodrygo opened the scoring, with Barcelona’s Raphinha doubling Brazil’s lead after halftime.
Rodrygo then scored his second goal, extending Brazil’s lead to three, before the historic moment occurred just after the hour mark. Neymar calmly slotted home, marking Brazil’s fourth goal and simultaneously surpassing Pele as the nation’s all-time top goalscorer. This achievement prompted an emotional celebration, with Neymar pointing to the sky as a tribute to the legendary Pele, who passed away last year.
Bolivia managed to pull one back late in the game, with Victor Abrego finding the net, but Neymar wasn’t finished. He added his second goal in injury time, bringing his total to 79 goals for Brazil and counting.
After the game, Neymar was presented with an award by the Brazilian Football Federation after the game, as well as a shirt with his name on the back and sporting the number 79 in recognition of the number of goals he has scored for his nation.
Neymar has reached 79 goals in 125 caps for his side, though Pele netted 77 strikes in only 92 games for Brazil.
But in his first match for Brazil in some six months, Neymar produced quite a masterclass to make history and go out on his own as the men’s team’s record goalscorer.
Watch how Neymar reached the feat below.
Neymar vs Bolivia 🇧🇴
His first match in 6 months & this is the performance he drops while breaking Pelé’s goal record for Brazil.
Enjoy the show 🪄🇧🇷pic.twitter.com/Bo4H6EMMXO
— Neymoleque | Fan 🇧🇷 (@Neymoleque) September 9, 2023