PSG’s Brazilian forward Neymar is just two goals short of matching former Brazilian forward and footballing legend Pelé’s tally of international goals with the record in reach at the World Cup in Qatar later this month for the 30-year-old.
In 92 caps, the last of which was in 1971, Pelé managed to score 77 international goals for Brazil in a 14 year international career. Neymar, meanwhile, has 75 goals as it stands, meaning he’s just three short of becoming Brazil’s all-time record goalscorer. The PSG man, however, has taken 121 internationals to reach that total. Former Real Madrid and PSV Eindhoven striker Ronaldo Nazário is third on the list with 62 in 98 games while no other current Brazil international has breached the current top 10.
Speaking to Globo, Neymar outlined his admiration for Pelé this week, saying: “Pelé is the reference. Pele is football. Pele is practically everything for our country. The respect and admiration I have for him is enormous. The importance he had in the third [title in 1970] was central because he was the one with the experience that managed to help his teammates be their best… Many said that he was not ready to play that World Cup due to his age, and he proved that everyone was wrong.”
Brazil face Serbia, Cameroon and Switzerland in Group G in Qatar.