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To become Brazil’s all-time leading scorer, Neymar surpasses Pele’s record.



On Friday, in South America’s 2026 World Cup qualifying match against Bolivia, Neymar scored two goals in the second half to surpass Pele as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer. The victory occurred 5-1.

When Brazil was handed a penalty kick in the 17th minute, the 31-year-old striker had a fantastic chance to break the record. He started the game tied with Pele with 77 goals.

But after Bolivian keeper Guillermo Viscarra calmly saved his easy spot-kick to maintain the score goalless, he appeared upset.After Viscarra parried a shot from Raphinha, seven minutes later Rodrygo reacted quickly to slot home, giving Brazil the lead.

Raphinha cut in from the left and his low effort took a tiny deflection before flying into the bottom corner to give Brazil a two goal lead shortly after the half.

Neymar contributed to Brazil’s third goal with a deft chipped ball that Bruno Guimaraes deflected on to Rodrygo, who scored with assurance.Then, in his 125th game for his nation, Neymar scored his 78th goal by pouncing on a loose ball inside the box and lifting his hands and looking skyward. It was his chance to go down in history.

Bolivia responded with a goal through Victor Abrego, who broke through a disjointed Brazil defence and fired an incredible shot past Ederson.However, Neymar had one more chance to tie the record when he connected on a low pass from Raphinha in stoppage time to seal the win and make it a night to remember for the striker.The 31-year-old former Barcelona striker just joined the Saudi Arabian team Al Hilal from Paris Saint-Germain.

Pele scored 77 goals for Brazil in 92 games between 1957 and 1971. He passed away in December at the age of 82.Following the Selecao’s World Cup quarterfinal loss the previous year, Fernando Diniz took over as coach, and the victory was the ideal start for him.

Diniz honoured Neymar, whose place in the team has come under fire.”A lot of people were unaware of his intentions, but he arrived with the intention of having fun, breaking the record, and scoring two goals,” he stated.

“People need to acknowledge and embrace him; he is a huge idol,” he continued.Uruguay puts on style — In the other game on Friday, Uruguay, led by new coach Marcelo Bielsa, showed off their style as they defeated Chile 3-1.

The youthful lineup was chosen by Argentine Bielsa, who had previously coached Chile from 2007 to 2011, in place of seasoned strikers Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez.Nicolas de la Cruz, an attacking midfielder for River Plate, scored twice as Bielsa’s new team put on a fun show.

In the 38th minute, Federico Valverde of Real Madrid scored a goal with his left foot to give his team a 1-0 lead. Federico Valverde added another goal shortly after the break.After breaking down the left, Valverde took over and created space before drilling a shot into the far bottom corner, replacing De la Cruz.

After a quick burst down the left, Darwin Nunez, a striker for Liverpool, pulled the ball back into De la Cruz’s path, who scored the third goal in the 71st minute with ease from close range.Three minutes later, after Diego Valdes’ header had struck the crossbar, Arturo Vidal scrambled the ball home to give Chile a goal back.

Bielsa was thrilled with what his new charges had shown.He declared, “I like the way the Uruguayan players play. Individuals, not the coach, dictate the style of play.” We didn’t play well for the first ten minutes, but we gradually created goal opportunities and exhausted the opposition,” he continued.

South America receives two additional spots in the qualifying process for the expanded 48-team World Cup, which will be hosted in the United States, Canada, and Mexico in 2026, with six countries qualifying directly.An intercontinental play-off will be held for the seventh place among the ten countries.

Argentina defeated Ecuador 1-0 in the opening game on Thursday, thanks to a goal from Lionel Messi; Peru and Colombia drew 0-0 in Paraguay and Colombia defeated Venezuela 1-0.

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