Neymar netted his 68th goal for Brazil in its 4-0 win over Peru during the Copa América on Thursday, surpassing Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima as the national team’s second top goalscorer behind Pelé.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward is now within nine goals of Pelé’s all-time scoring record of 77 goals.
‘It is very emotional’
“It’s obviously a great honor for me to be part of the Brazil team’s history,” a tearful Neymar said. “To be completely honest, my dream was always to play for Brazil, to wear this shirt. I never imagined I would reach these numbers.
“It is very emotional to me because I went through a lot of things over these last two years, difficult and complicated things. These numbers are nothing compared to the happiness I have playing for Brazil,” he added.
‘I’m rooting for him’
Pelé showed his support for Neymar nearing his record in an Instagram post.
“Every time I see this boy, he is smiling. It’s impossible not to smile back. It is contagious. I, like all Brazilians, am always happy when I see him playing soccer. Today, he took another step towards my goalscoring record for the Seleção,” he wrote.
“And I’m rooting for him to get there, with the same joy I’ve had since I saw him play for the first time,” Pelé added.
A decisive victory
The hosts led early on in the game when defender Alex Sandro found the back of the net from six yards. Following Neymar’s goal, midfielder Everton Augusto de Barros Ribeiro and forward Richarlison both found opportunities late in the game, sealing a decisive victory against Peru.
Brazil will face Colombia on Wednesday before completing their Group B fixtures against Ecuador.
Peru will play Colombia on Monday in their third group match of five, before facing Ecuador and Venezuela respectively.
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