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Neymar Jr. recently moved from Paris Saint-Germain to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal.© AFP

Neymar Jr. scored twice as Brazil hammered Bolivia 5-1 in South America’s 2026 World Cup qualifiers on Friday. The former Brazil captain went into the game level with Pele on 77 goals and had a golden opportunity to break the record in the 17th minute when his team was awarded a spot kick. However, Neymar’s penalty was easily saved by Bolivia keeper Guillermo Viscarra to keep the scores goalless. Neymar’s goldent moment came just past the hour mark as he pounced on a loose ball inside the box and tucked away his 78th goal in his 125th game for his country – raising his hands and his gaze to the skies.


(Via @lequipe)

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 9, 2023

Victor Abrego pulled a goal back for Bolivia, bustling through a disorganised Brazil backline before blasting an unstoppable shot past Ederson.

But there was still time for Neymar to extend his record tally, connecting with a low ball from Raphinha in stoppage time to complete the victory and a memorable night for the forward.

The 31-year-old former Barcelona striker recently moved from Paris Saint-Germain to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal.

Pele, who died in December aged 82, scored 77 goals for Brazil in 92 appearances between 1957 and 1971.

The win was the perfect start for new coach Fernando Diniz, who took over from predecessor Tite in the wake of the Selecao’s World Cup quarter-final exit last year.

(With AFP Inputs)

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