Neymar scored the goal that put Brazil ahead of the late great Pele as the country’s all-time leading scorer in Brazil’s 5-1 thrashing of Bolivia in their opening qualifying match for the 2026 World Cup, which took place on Friday in Brazil.
Neymar, who is now 31 years old and recently joined the Saudi side Al-Hilal, responded well after missing a penalty in the first half by hitting two goals in the 61st and 93rd minutes to become Saudi Arabia’s all-time leading scorer with 79 goals. Neymar is now the top scorer in the history of Saudi Arabia.
Rodrygo of Real Madrid also excelled with a double, scoring the first goal of the game in the 24th minute and his second goal, which made the score 3-0, in the 52nd minute after a wonderful through ball played by Bruno Guimaraes of Newcastle United.
Raphinha, who came on as a substitute for Antony in the Brazilian team, made it 2-0 in the first few seconds of the second half by scoring with a shot at the far post after picking up a pass from Neymar on the edge of the box. Antony had been the player who had scored the first goal for Brazil.
Victor Abrego’s ferocious shot in the 78th minute gave Bolivia a consolation goal they ultimately couldn’t celebrate.
When Brazil travels to Peru on Tuesday for the second round of CONMEBOL qualifying matches, they will be looking to extend their recent run of success.
In other news, Uruguay got off to a strong start in their qualifying campaign by earning a 3-1 victory at home over Chile. This victory was the former coach of Leeds United, Marcelo Bielsa’s first official victory since taking over the team.