Only Pele has scored more goals for the Selecao than the PSG star, who netted a penalty in the latest World Cup qualifier Neymar surpassed Ronaldo for the second-most goals for Brazil with a hat-trick against Peru on Tuesday.
The Paris Saint-Germain star put away a penalty in either half of their World Cup qualifier in Lima before tapping home from close range in injury-time. Neymar, 28, moved onto 64 goals in 103 games for Brazil, pulling past the great Ronaldo in second place on the nation’s all-time goalscoring list.
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Ronaldo scored 62 goals in 98 games for Brazil in a 17-year career for his nation that included winning two World Cups, two Copa Americas, and a Confederations Cup. Only Pele, who netted 77 times, has scored more goals for Brazil than Neymar.
Legendary Brazilian goalkeeper Taffarel believes Neymar is a ‘superstar, who could lead the nation back to the promised land of winning their sixth World Cup title. And the 54-year-old feels Neymar would have won FIFA’s The Best award if PSG saluted in the recent Champions League final against Bayern.
“[Neymar is] a great player,” Taffarel told the official FIFA website. “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.
“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 has had an action-packed start to this current season, which was initially interrupted with a coronavirus diagnosis in the lead-up.
Once he recovered from Covid-19, the PSG star was shown a straight red card in the defeat to Marseille, in which he accused opponent Alvaro Gonzalez of racial abuse. Following a two-match ban, Neymar returned to play 90 minutes in the 2-0 victory against Reims, before scoring twice in the Parisian’s most recent game – a 6-1 belting of Angers at the start of the month.
He played his first match for Brazil in nearly 11 months in the 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia – contributing two assists as the Selecao got their World Cup qualification campaign off to the perfect start.