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The 29-year-old forward notched his 68th international goal against Ricardo Gareca's side in the Group A clash - meaning he is just nine goals behind legendary striker Pele in Brazil's all-time top scorer charts.
Neymar Open Play outside the box Goal, we moveeee :fire::fire:- Akshay Akash (@Neylegacy) June 18, 2021
Now let's get an assist :flag_br:pic.twitter.com/UzqJ9c8uaC
It was a special moment for the Paris Saint-Germain player, who made his 107th appearance for Seleção against La Blanquirroja on Thursday night.
He wiped away tears throughout the post-match interview as he spoke about Pele's record and being a role model.
"It's moving for me [to get closer to Pele's record], I've been through a lot these last two years," Neymar said.
"These [goal] numbers are nothing more than my joy of playing for Brazil, representing my country, my family. We're all going through a very atypical moment, a very hard moment in Brazil and elsewhere.
"To be a role model for someone, to make people happy, it gives me joy. I love the story that I'm writing here, I want my family and friends to be proud.
"I hope everyone who loves this game are proud of me, because these numbers don't really mean anything, only the pride of representing Brazil."
Entrevista do Neymar após o fim do jogo, completamente emocionado em vestir a camisa da seleção, valorizem enquanto tem tempo! :heart::flag_br:pic.twitter.com/GTj0qGahrN- neymar jr deprê (@neymarjrdepre) June 18, 2021
Pele, who is widely regarded as Brazil's greatest ever player, soon reacted to Neymar's emotional words with a post on his official Instagram page.
"Every time I see this boy, he is smiling," the 80-year-old wrote. "It's impossible not to smile back. It is contagious.
"I, like all Brazilians, am always happy when I see him playing. Today, he took another step towards my goalscoring record for the Selecao. And I'm rooting for him to get there, with the same joy I've had since I saw him play for the first time."
Neymar will be looking to add to his tally in upcoming Copa America clashes against Colombia and Ecuador next week.
Do you think he will overtake Pele and become the country's all-time top goalscorer?
Let us know in the comments.
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