Brazil superstar Neymar Jr was in fine form against Peru on Matchday 2 of the 2022 World Cup Qualifier. The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) ace scored thrice to guide his side to a second victory in as many games. With the hat-trick, Neymar has now become the second-highest goalscorer for the national team, overtaking Ronaldo Nazario in the process.
Despite conceding early in the game, Brazil went on to score four past Peru, courtesy of a Neymar hat-trick and a goal from Richarlison. Neymar equalised from the spot in the 28th minute, followed by another spot-kick in the second half. The former Barcelona man rounded off his hat-trick for Brazil vs Peru after scoring in injury-time.
🥇 @Pele (77)— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) October 14, 2020
🥈 @neymarjr (64)
🥉 @Ronaldo (62)
🇧🇷 Neymar's hat-trick sends him 2nd on Brazil's all-time top scorers. The 28-year-old celebrates by doing a number 9 with his hands & imitating Ronaldo's trademark finger-wagging celebration in a fitting tribute to Fenômeno ™️ pic.twitter.com/D9DDgiTnAB
With the hat-trick for Brazil vs Peru, Neymar has now overtaken Ronaldo to become the second-highest goalscorer in the history of the national team. The 28-year-old has now racked up 64 goals, managing the feat in 103 appearances. Ronaldo scored 62 goals for Brazil, although in 98 games.
Ronaldo enjoyed a blistering career with both club and country. The former Real Madrid superstar clinched two World Cups and Copa America titles, along with a Confederation Cup, in an international career that lasted 17 years. As things stand, Neymar now trails only Pele, who is widely regarded as the greatest ever to grace the sport.
The three-time World Cup winner netted 77 times for Brazil. Meanwhile, Neymar's former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi has netted 71 goals so far and the Brazilian could now compete with the six-time Ballon d'Or winner's tally at the international level.
Legendary Brazil shot-stopper Taffarel has pinned his hopes on Neymar to restore the country's dominance at the global stage. Speaking to the official website of FIFA, Taffarel lauded Neymar as a great player. "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," added Taffarel.