Neymar made history for Brazil by surpassing Ronaldo Nazario as the Selecao’s second-highest goalscorer in history against Peru.
After over a year, Neymar finally did it on Wednesday morning by surpassing Ronaldo’s goal tally. He had gone four games without finding the back of the net for Brazil since scoring away to Colombia in July 2019.
A hamstring injury had cost him the chance to challenge for Ronaldo’s record in Brazil’s last two outings in November that year.
After chipping in two assists in the Selecao’s 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia last Saturday, Neymar had his moment in the spotlight in Peru by smashing home the fourth hat-trick of his international career.
The Paris Saint-Germain ace fired home a penalty for his first goal in Lima to equalize for Brazil after Andre Carrillo put Peru in front. He then scored another spot-kick before tapping in a third during the final seven minutes.
Everton forward Richarlison was also on target in the five-time world champions’ 4-2 win in Peru.
🇧🇷 Neymar's hat-trick sends him 2nd on Brazil's all-time top scorers. The 28-year-old celebrates by doing a number 9 with his hands & imitating Ronaldo's trademark finger-wagging celebration in a fitting tribute to Fenômeno ™️ pic.twitter.com/D9DDgiTnAB
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) October 14, 2020
Neymar, meanwhile, has now scored an impressive 64 goals in 103 appearances for Brazil. Thus, he has surpassed Ronaldo’s tally of 62 goals to move up to second on the nation’s all-time goalscoring list.
Only Pele, who scored 77 goals in just 92 outings, sits ahead of the 28-year-old in the charts.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Tite praised his star man but refused to draw comparisons to past greats.
“Each generation has its own value. Ronaldo was extraordinary, Rivaldo was extraordinary, Romario and Bebeto as well, each one had their moment,” said the Brazil coach as quoted on Diario Sport.
“It’s unfair to make comparisons. The only thing I can say is that Neymar is very unpredictable, a player who not only gives assists, but also goals, and each time with a greater degree of maturity.”
Neymar will return to action for Brazil on November 12 in another 2022 World Cup qualifier.