Brazil won 5-1 over Bolivia to start their FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying campaign. Neymar surpassed Pele as the leading scorer for the national team during the game.
The 2026 World Cup qualifying matches got off to an exciting start as Brazil overpowered Bolivia with a commanding 5-1 home victory. The 31-year-old striker Neymar Jr., who recently moved to Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, broke Pele’s record to become Brazil’s leading goal scorer during the game, making it very meaningful.
Although Neymar suffered an early setback by missing a penalty in the first half, he stunningly recovered to score two goals in the 61st and 93rd minutes. His total now stands at 79, making him Brazil’s all-time leading scorer.
On X, the website that replaced Twitter, the late Brazilian soccer legend Pele complimented Neymar on his accomplishment. “Congratulations Neymar for surpassing the King in goals for Brazil,” the letter said. “Pele must be cheering you on today,”
Neymar acknowledged his emotions after the game by saying, “I never expected breaking this record. I must admit that Pele is a better player than I am. I’ve always wanted to write my own chapter in Brazilian football history and to play for the national team. And I did it today.
The game included several standout players in addition to Neymar, who has played 125 times for Brazil and was a member of the Confederations Cup-winning squad in 2013. Rodrygo of Real Madrid also put on a strong showing, scoring twice in the 24th and 52nd minutes.
It’s a pretty remarkable day, indeed. Being able to assist Neymar in surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo as the leading scorer will be with me forever, the 22-year-old Rodrygo told Brazilian television network TV Globo.
Early in the second half, Raphinha, the teammate who took Antony’s place, added to the score. In the 78th minute, a strong shot from Victor Abrego gave Bolivia a consolation goal.
When Brazil plays Peru on Tuesday in the second round of the CONMEBOL qualifying tournament, they will try to keep up their winning streak. In other games, Marcelo Bielsa, Uruguay’s new coach and former Leeds United manager, led his team to a 3-1 victory over Chile to start their qualifying campaign.