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Thursday January 26, 2023

Neymar equals Pele's record of 77 Brazil goals

Pele, who was recently hospitalised during treatment for colon cancer, is the only player in history to win three World Cups

By AFP
December 09, 2022
Brazils forward #10 Neymar runs with the ball during the Qatar 2022 World Cup quarter-final football match between Croatia and Brazil at Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha, on December 9, 2022. — AFP
Brazil's forward #10 Neymar runs with the ball during the Qatar 2022 World Cup quarter-final football match between Croatia and Brazil at Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha, on December 9, 2022. — AFP

DOHA: Neymar equalled Pele's record tally of 77 goals for Brazil with his brilliant strike against Croatia in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday, but his team crashed out on penalties.

The forward fired home from close range in extra time to put Brazil ahead and draw level with Pele, who scored his goals between 1957 and 1971.

Neymar beat Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic and converted from a tight angle in stoppage time in the first additional period.

However, Bruno Petkovic levelled in the 117th minute, with Croatia winning the shootout 4-2.

Pele, who was recently hospitalised during treatment for colon cancer, is the only player in history to win three World Cups.

The 82-year-old triumphed in 1958, 1962 and 1970 with the Selecao and said earlier this week he was watching his country play in Qatar from hospital.

Five-time winners Brazil last lifted the World Cup in 2002, eight years before Neymar made his international debut.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward, 30, has earned iconic status in his country but has been frustrated on the biggest stage.

He scored a penalty against South Korea in the last 16 on his return from injury, having missed the previous two matches in Qatar.

Brazil players unfurled a banner in tribute to Pele after that emphatic 4-1 victory on Monday.

However they will be heading home early after their surprise defeat despite coming into the tournament as favourites.