Neymar EQUALS Pele’s record of 77 goals for Brazil with his superb opening goal in their World Cup quarter-final defeat… but the Brazilian Football Confederation DISAGREE with FIFA and insist Pele actually scored 95
Neymar has drawn level with Pele as the leading goalscorer in Brazil history after striking in extra time in Friday’s quarter-final against Croatia, despite being dumped out of the World Cup with 4-2 penalty shoot-out defeat.
That’s according to FIFA, anyway, who have Neymar drawing alongside the legendary Brazilian on 77 goals for the World Cup’s most successful nation.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) records say otherwise, however. They state that Pele actually scored 95 goals for his country in 113 games – not the 77 in 92 appearances that FIFA have on record.
Neymar celebrates after scoring his 77th goal for Brazil in their quarter-final against Croatia
Neymar draws level with Pele, who scored 77 goals in 92 games for Brazil, according to FIFA
The disparity comes as a result of what the two organisations constitute to be an international match, with FIFA counting fixtures between two countries, while Brazil consider friendlies played against club sides – which they would do in the 20th century – as official games.
And in those fixtures, against the likes of Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid and Atletico Mineiro, Pele is said to have scored 18 goals in 22 appearances.
So, according to CBF records, Neymar still has to score another 18 goals before he draws level with Pele.
FIFA records are what most will look to, though, and there Neymar has now joined Pele as the joint-11th top scorer in history. Cristiano Ronaldo, whose Portugal side play Morocco on Saturday, currently tops the list on 118 goals.
Neymar scored his 77th goal for his country in fine style against Croatia, rounding the goalkeeper before firing into the empty net after a neat one-two in the penalty box with Lucas Paqueta.
Pele is one of the greatest footballers of all time and won three World Cups with Brazil
Neymar, however, will not be able to move beyond the total of 77 goals at the Qatar World Cup, with Brazil being dumped out of the major tournament against the odds in a penalty shoot-out after drawing 1-1 with Croatia in their quarter-final clash.
The PSG star is also unlikely to get anywhere near achieving what Pele has in international football, after falling short once again.
Pele is the only man in football history to win three World Cups, being at the 1958, 1962, and 1970 tournaments.
Neymar’s record-equaling goal comes just days after the Brazil side paid tribute to Pele following their win over South Korea, raising a special poster of his iconic 1970 celebration on the pitch after the legendary footballer was hospitalised.
Pele was admitted to hospital in November to treat a respiratory infection that was aggravated by Covid.
Neymar and his Brazil team-mate paid tribute to Pele following their 4-1 win over South Korea
Brazilian reports have claimed that Pele is showing signs of improvement having been admitted to hospital to treat a respiratory infection that was aggravated by Covid
Further reports emerged earlier this week stating Pele was showing signs of progressive improvement, with Brazilian publication Globo stating the 82-year-old was showing ‘stable signs, is ‘conscious’ and is ‘without further complications.’
A tweet was published on Pele’s official account before their 4-1 win over South korea, in which he wished Brazil good luck
It read: ‘In 1958, I walked the streets thinking about fulfilling the promise I made to my father.
‘I know that today many have made similar promises and are also going in search of their first World Cup.
‘I’ll be watching the hospital game and I’ll be rooting for each one of you. Good luck!’
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