World Cup 2022: Neymar equals Pele's Brazil scoring record with goal against Croatia

Neymar of Brazil celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 quarter final match between Croatia and Brazil at Education City Stadium on December 09, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar.
(Image credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Neymar has equalled Pele as Brazil (opens in new tab)'s joint top goalscorer of all time, giving Brazil the lead in extra time of their World Cup 2022 (opens in new tab) quarter-final against Croatia (opens in new tab).

In stoppage time at the end of the first period of extra time, Brazil's main man – who had had a quiet game up until then – produced a moment of magic to drive through the stubborn Croatian defence and break the deadlock with an emphatic close-range finish.

In doing so, the 30-year-old – earning his 124th Brazil cap – has joined Pele on 77 goals for the five-time World Cup winners.

Neymar made his senior international back in 2010 in a friendly against the USA – and within 28 minutes of coming on as a substitute, he notched goal number one of 77.

The PSG star has now found the net eight times at World Cups: four times in 2014 on home soil, twice at Russia 2018 and twice at the current finals (his first goal was a penalty in Brazil's 4-1 last-16 win over South Korea).

He's still a little way of Pele's World Cup tally, however: the great man scored 12 goals across four World Cups, including three in finals (two in 1958 and one in 1970 – Brazil won both tournaments).

Neymar has hinted that this could be his last World Cup (opens in new tab); he's yet to lift the trophy and hasn't even played in a semi-final yet, having been injured for the infamous 7-1 thrashing by Germany in 2014 (Brazil were knocked out in the quarter-finals four years ago).

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...