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Neymar breaks Pele's scoring record as Brazil rout Bolivia

Published : 10 Sep 2023, 02:26

  DF News Desk
Brazil's Neymar celebrates during the 2026 World Cup qualifier match between Brazil and Bolivia at the Olympic Stadium of Para in Belem, capital of the State of Para, Brazil, on Sept. 8, 2023. Photo: Xinhua by Lucio Tavora.

Neymar overtook Pele as Brazil's all-time leading scorer as Brazil cruised to a 5-1 home win over Bolivia in their opening 2026 World Cup qualifier here on Friday, reported Xinhua.

The Al Hilal forward missed a penalty attempt in the 17th minute at the Mangueirao stadium, in the northern Brazilian city of Belem, but Real Madrid forward Rodrygo put the hosts ahead seven minutes later with a simple tap-in.

Barcelona winger Raphinha doubled the lead by cutting inside his marker and angling a left-footed shot into the bottom left corner.

The five-time World Cup champions were suddenly in top gear and Rodrygo capitalized on smart buildup play by Bruno Guimaraes to make it 3-0 in the 53rd minute.

Neymar dismissed pre-match concerns about his fitness as he caused constant problems for Bolivia's defense.

The 31-year-old forward surpassed Pele's record of 77 goals by thumping a first-time effort past goalkeeper Guillermo Viscarra just after the hour mark.

Victor Abrego reduced the deficit with a powerful shot from distance on the counterattack but Neymar completed the rout by volleying home after Raphinha's cross from the right wing.

The former Santos, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star has now scored 79 times in 124 appearances since his international debut in 2010.

Brazil's next qualifier will be against Peru in Lima on Tuesday while Bolivia will host Argentina in La Paz the same day.