Neymar has surpassed Pele as the leading goal scorer for Brazil’s national team in career goal total.
Neymar achieved the milestone with his 78th goal in the 61st minute during Brazil’s World Cup qualifying match against Bolivia in the Amazon city of Belem. His conversion was part of Brazil’s 5-1 victory, with Neymar scoring his 79th goal during injury time.
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Neymar’s historic goal was the result of a well-placed low cross into the penalty box, which he finished accurately from close range. Neymar celebrated by raising his fist in the air, which was a reminder of Pele’s iconic celebrations.
In the 17th minute, Neymar had an earlier penalty kick opportunity, but it was saved by goalkeeper Billy Viscarra. His second goal in the match, near the end, followed a similar pattern, with another low cross delivered by Raphinha.
Brazil’s football confederation recognises Pele as its all-time top goal scorer, with 95 goals in 114 matches. However, it’s worth noting that FIFA does not include goals scored by Pele in national team friendlies against club teams in its official count.
Before the win over Bolivia, Neymar’s most recent appearance for Brazil was in the World Cup quarterfinal loss to Croatia the previous year. After that match, he left Qatar with uncertainties about his future with the national team and did not participate in Brazil’s first three games this year.