Neymar equals Pele’s all-time Brazil goal record

Neymar is now Brazil’s joint all-time top scorer after equalling the legendary Pele’s record tally for the Selecao that has stood for 41 years.

Pele scored 77 times in 92 appearances for Brazil from his debut aged 16 in 1957 to his relatively premature international retirement in 1971 aged 30.

Neymar has been a Brazil international since 2010 and scored his 77th goal to give his country the lead in extra-time against Croatia in their 2022 World Cup quarter-final.

His record-equalling goal came in his 125th Brazil game.

Plenty of others have tried and failed to catch Pele over the years. Zico fell just shy of 50 goals, while Romario reached 56 and Ronaldo managed to get to 62. But only Neymar has caught up.

Pele, who is the only man in history to win three World Cups, got his very first Brazil goal on his debut against Argentina. He also scored against the same opposition again three days later.

He made his name on the global stage at the 1958 World Cup, scoring four times at the age of 17 to fire Brazil to their first ever Jules Rimet Trophy. Pele scored a further six times at the World Cup in 1970, as well as finding the net in both 1962 and 1966.

His last offficial international goal was in a friendly against Austria in July 1971, although he continued his club career for several more years with Santos and New York Cosmos.

Brazil claim that he scored 95 international goals and therefore may not recognise Neymar, though the additional strikes came in friendlies against club sides – which FIFA do not count.

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders, Sean Walsh, Ali Rampling and Brian Goldfarb to look back on the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

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