NEYMAR became Brazil’s second-highest goalscorer of all time last night as his hattrick helped thump Peru 4-2 in a 2022 World Cup qualifier.
The PSG star leapt above Ronaldo with his goals last night and only lags behind football legend Pele.
The 28-year-old now has 64 goals for his country while Pele has 77, and with time still on his side the forward will hope to catch his retired countryman.
Performances like last night will help in this feat, with two penalties and a stoppage time strike helping Brazil continue their 100% start to the qualifying campaign.
Everton’s Richarlison also got in on the act, with Peru eventually reduced to nine men and taking nothing from a game they led twice.
Neymar’s 64 goals come in 103 games while Ronaldo scored 62 in only 98 games, helping his nation to win two World Cups, the Copa America twice and a Confederations Cup in a sterling 17-year career.
Legendary Brazilian goalkeeper Taffarel believes Neymar is a ‘superstar’ talent who will also help the country win their first World Cup since 2002.
He told the official FIFA website in August: “[Neymar is] a great player. He plays the game in a beautiful way. He’s an incredible dribbler, sets up goals, scores fantastic goals.
“He’s very important for us. We really hope he can be at his best and help Brazil win another World Cup. He’s a superstar.
“I cheered a lot for Paris [in the Champions League final] because of the Brazilians who play there. I really wanted Neymar to win this Champions League and, consequently, The Best FIFA [Men’s Player] award.
BRAZIL’S TOP GOALSCORERS OF ALL-TIME
Neymar has stepped into second place in Brazil’s talented list of all-time goalscorers, with the striker now only 13 goals behind the legendary Pele
- Pele – 77
- Neymar – 64
- Ronaldo – 62
- Romario – 55
- Zico – 48
- Bebeto – 39
- Rivaldo – 35
- Jairzinho – 33
- Ronaldinho – 33
- Ademir – 32
- Tostao – 32
“But it’s just one day. I really hope in the future he can win this award and be considered the best player in the world.”
Neymar’s first and second goals were penalties which he netted with ease.
He also scored a stoppage time tap-in to steal the match ball.
Richarlison’s goal came when he headed the ball over the line after Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino flicked it across the six-yard box.
Neymar’s record-breaking goals are the latest chapter in an eventful season for him so far.
The former Barcelona man announced he tested positive for coronavirus at the beginning of last month, but recovered in time for Paris-Saint Germain’s eventful match against Marseille.
After he returned from suspension, he scored twice as PSG hammered Angers 6-1 in their last game before the international break.