Neymar equals Pele’s record of 77 Brazil goals

Neymar equalled Pele’s record tally of 77 goals for Brazil with his brilliant strike against Croatia in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday, but his team crashed out on penalties.

The forward fired home from close range in extra-time to put Brazil ahead and draw level with Pele, who scored his goals between 1957 and 1971.

Neymar beat Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic and converted from a tight angle in stoppage time in the first additional period.

However, Bruno Petkovic levelled in the 117th minute, with Croatia winning the shootout 4-2.

Pele, who was recently hospitalised during treatment for colon cancer, is the only player in history to win three World Cups.

The 82-year-old triumphed in 1958, 1962 and 1970 with the Selecao and said earlier this week he was watching his country play in Qatar from hospital.

Five-time winners Brazil last lifted the World Cup in 2002, eight years before Neymar made his international debut.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward, 30, has earned iconic status in his country but has been frustrated on the biggest stage.

He scored a penalty against South Korea in the last 16 on his return from injury, having missed the previous two matches in Qatar.

Brazil players unfurled a banner in tribute to Pele after that emphatic 4-1 victory on Monday.

However they will be heading home early after their surprise defeat despite coming into the tournament as favourites.

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