PSG star Neymar has exceeded Ronaldo De Lima for the second most goals for Brazil with a hat-trick in a fixture against Peru on Tuesday.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward found the back of the net from the penalty spot in each half of their World Cup qualifier in Lima before tapping home from close range in injury-time.
Neymar, 28, reached 64 goals in 103 games for Brazil, driving past the legendary Ronaldo in second place on the nation’s all-time goalscoring record.
Ronaldo registered 62 goals to his name in 98 matches for Brazil in a career that spanned 17 years for his nation that included winning two World Cups, the Copa America twice and a Confederations Cup.
Only the great Pele, who scored 77 times, has scored more goals for Brazil than Neymar.
Legendary Brazilian goalkeeper Taffarel is convinced that Neymar is a ‘superstar’, who could lead the nation back to the promised land of clinching their sixth World Cup title.
And the 54-year-old believes that Neymar would have won FIFA’s The Best award if PSG had won the Champions League final against Bayern Munich last season.
“[Neymar is] a great player,” Taffarel told the official FIFA website. “He plays the game in a beautiful way. He’s an incredible dribbler, sets up goals, scores fantastic goals.
“He’s very important for us. We really hope he can be at his best and help Brazil win another World Cup. He’s a superstar.
“I cheered a lot for Paris [in the Champions League final] because of the Brazilians who play there. I really wanted Neymar to win this Champions League and, consequently, The Best FIFA [Men’s Player] award.
“But it’s just one day. I really hope in the future he can win this award and be considered the best player in the world.”
Neymar has had an action-packed start to this current season, which was initially interrupted with a coronavirus diagnosis in the lead-up.
Once he recovered from Covid-19, the PSG star was shown a straight red card in the defeat to Marseille, in which he accused opponent Alvaro Gonzalez of racial abuse.
Following a two-match ban, Neymar returned to play 90 minutes in the 2-0 victory against Reims, before scoring twice in the Parisians’ most recent game – a 6-1 hammering of Angers at the start of the month.
The Brazilian superstar featured in his first match for Brazil in almost 11 months in the 5-0 massacre of Bolivia – adding two assists as the Selecao got their World Cup qualification campaign off to the perfect start.