Qualification matches for the 2022 World Cup tournament in Qatar are already underway in South America. Out of the 14 countries competing, the first four teams on the qualifying table automatically heads to Qatar. The 5th placed team negotiates a play-off.
The traditional football superpowers in the continent, Brazil, and Argentina start their campaign on a winning note. While Brazil saw off Peru 4-2, with Neymar scoring a hat-trick, Argentina came from behind to beat Bolivia 2-1. It is a Messi-inspired performance for Argentina to win in Bolivia for the first time in 10 years. The two countries are currently joint top on the qualifying table.
Meanwhile, Neymar has overtaken Ronaldo in the all-time goal scorers chat for Brazil. Before the game, the PSG striker was one goal shy of Ronaldo haul. The former Real Madrid striker has 62 goals for his country, second only to Pele. That has been overhauled by the hat-trick performance of his compatriot Neymar. Neymar converted two penalties and also scored in added time. His second penalty marked the historic moment when he passed “The Phenomenon”.
The 28-year-old Brazilian who plies his trade in France with PSG used his social media channels to celebrate. He did so by posting a picture of Ronaldo and a message that read: “All my respect for you, Phenomenon.”
This landmark achievement has sparked up debate and comparisons between Ronaldo and Neymar. Social media is abuzz to know who among the two strikers is greater. Brazil coach, Tite, does not want to be drawn into the debate. He states that it will be unfair to compare the two as they operated in two different eras. Although, he pointed out that the difference is the unpredictability of Neymar.
“He is both a bow and an arrow. He scores and assists goals, and he is getting better as he matures.”
Neymar is currently eyeing Pele record. At 77 goals for his country, Pele has remained the most prolific for Brazil in a very long time. With age still on his side, Neymar may tumble this record in no distant time. At 28, Neymar is just at the zenith of his career.
Depending on his abilities, he may still have about six years to play. At this rate, he is going to overhaul Pele record in no distant time.