Brazilian captain, Neymar is now the country’s all-time second-highest goal scorer after surpassing Ronaldo’s record of 62 goals.
With 64 goals from 103 games, the PSG star has now scored more than the legend, who is part of the 2002 world Cup-winning squad.
Only Pele now has more goals for the Selecao than the PSG star. Neymar netted a hattrick in the latest World Cup qualifier against Peru, which they won 4-2 away from home on Tuesday.
Part of the hat-trick were two penalties from the forward in Lima in each half of their World Cup qualifier before tapping home from close range in injury-time.
Ronaldo had during his international career found the back of the net for the Selecao 62 times in 98 outings. His success includes two World Cups, two Copa America, and a Confederations Cup in a football career that spanned 17 years.
The 28-year-old is now chasing Pele’s record of 77 goals. He took to his Instagram handle to laud Ronaldo, whom he described as a phenomenon. “All my respect for you PHENOMENON @ronaldo,” Neymar wrote.
‘Neymar is a superstar’
Reacting to Neymar’s latest feat, legendary Brazilian goalkeeper Taffarel believes he is a ‘superstar’, who could lead the nation back to the promised land of winning their sixth World Cup title.
The 54-year-old, who felt Neymar would have won FIFA’s Best Player award had PSG won the Champions League final against Bayern Munich last season, described him as an important player for his country.
“[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.
“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,” Taffarel told the official FIFA websit.
Neymar’s performance this season so far
After overcoming COVID-19, Neymar got red-carded in the defeat to Marseille, in which he accused opponent Alvaro Gonzalez of racial abuse.
After serving a two-match ban, the PSG star returned to action in the 2-0 victory against Reims, before scoring twice in the Paris club in the 6-1 hammering of Angers at the start of the month.
After not being able to play international games for 11 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Neymar played his first match for Brazil, helping the Selecao in the 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia. – contributing two assists as the Selecao got their World Cup qualification campaign off to the perfect start.
He then scored a hat-trick against Peru to maintain their 100 percent start in the qualification.