Neymar Surpasses Pele, Becomes Brazil’s All Time Record Goal Scorer

Neymar Surpasses Pele, Becomes Brazil’s All Time Record Goal Scorer

Martin Moses
September 9, 2023 at 5:17 AM
In this article:
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  • Neymar made history for Brazil after he became their all-time top goal-scorer
  • The Al Hilal winger scored twice against Bolivia to move clear of Pele's long-standing record
  • The five-time World Champions began their qualification campaign for the 2026 World Cup on a positive note

Neymar etched his name in history books as he became Brazil's all-time record goalscorer after scoring a brace against Bolivia on September 9.

The winger, who is yet to play for his new side, Al Hilal, returned to competitive action as he lined up for his country at the Estadio Olimpico de Para in the opening round of fixtures to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

Neymar, Pele, Brazil, Bolivia
Neymar receives an honorary plaque after becoming Brazil's all-time top goal scorer. Photo by Pedro Vilela.
Source: Getty Images

Heading into the game, the former PSG star had scored 77 goals in 124 appearances for his national side, the same as the great Pele, who managed a similar number with 92 appearances.

Neymar makes history

He was made to wait for his history-making goal after he missed a penalty in the 17th minute. Rodrygo opened the scoring in the 24th minute, with Raphinha adding a second one just after the break. Rodrygo got his second of the night and third for the Samba Boys before Neymar took over the show.

The 31-year-old scored his first in the 61st minute before adding another one in stoppage time to pull off clear Pele's record.

The huge win automatically takes Brazil to the top of the CONMEBOL qualifiers on goal difference. The first six teams at the end of the qualification matches will automatically qualify for the World Cup, with the seventh-placed team heading into the intercontinental playoff.

Brazil play Peru next as Bolivia faces another daunting task in the shape of the defending champions, Argentina.

Messi equals Luis Suarez's record

At the same time, Lionel Messi continued with his impeccable form for club and country by scoring a late free-kick goal in the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.

Sports Brief reported that Messi's goal saw him equal Luis Suarez's record as the player with the most goals in South America's World Cup qualifiers.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)