Neymar has a solid chance of scoring three goals during the World Cup to surpass Pele’s all-time goal-scoring mark for the Brazilian men’s national team. Some people will consider this sacrilege. But it is a remarkable monument to the excellence of the man that Pele is still in the lead with 77 goals.
A current or recent player is the best scorer for every other South American men’s team due to the growth of international football. Pele continues to be the best player for Brazil’s men (Marta has the most goals scored while wearing a Seleço jersey with 115), and no matter what happens in the upcoming weeks, his place on the Mount Rushmore of Brazilian football appears secure for the foreseeable future.
– Qatar’s 2022 World Cup team rosters.
There are certainly fascinating facets to the Pele-Neymar analogy. And drawing the conclusion that Neymar is the winner of this race does not disparage his incredible talent. In recent years, there appears to have been a backlash against Pele. It is stupid. He was technologically so advanced that he might have been the creation of a computer. He was a global icon of the sport before it became genuinely global, a star athlete before modern sports science, and a player in such peak physical condition.
It is obvious that Pele could have played during the Neymar era. However, the opposite is not true. Neymar is a byproduct of his era and a hothouse futsal graduate as opposed to a casual street football player. The weekly roughhousing meted out to Pele on the field would have been beyond his capacity to handle. In fact, one of Neymar’s most contentious traits is that he seems to view football as a non-contact sport. Street football players pick up the crucial lesson of self-defense. Neymar has always used the referee as protection, which is quite unpopular with the game’s traditional elite.
Neymar has the potential to break Pele’s World Cup goal total. Through Getty Images, Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images
One of the most recent instances of a former player horrified by Neymar’s propensity to perpetually play the victim is Dutch star, Marco van Basten. Of course, Neymar has sinned against far more than he has sinned, as have all talented athletes since the dawn of time. In order to keep him from making an impact on the game with his talent, opponents would use harsh and illegal tactics. And if diving is a valid accusation against him, then Pele was also no saint in this regard. Referees from the era remember his skill at winning free kicks by encircling an opponent’s arm and yanking them both to the ground to make it appear as though he had committed the foul.
Painting Pele as an angel is erroneous. In addition, he was capable of taking care of his physical needs when necessary, which was often because referee protection wasn’t nearly as strong during his time as it is today, thanks in large part to Neymar. diverse players from various eras. amazing talents in both areas. One unexpected coincidence, though, might serve to underscore their disparate natures.
Neymar, who is a few months shy of turning 31 at the start of this World Cup, was almost precisely the same age as Pele in 1971 when he announced his retirement from international competition. Brazil didn’t have a single world championship under their belt when Pele made his debut for the team. By the time his country had won three World Cups and could claim the Jules Rimet trophy as their own, the exuberant skinny kid of 1958 had transformed into the bulkier but wiser old head of 1970.
After Pele, all Brazilian stars are judged against him and found wanting. It’s likely to always be a flawed comparison. Nothing will ever compare to the first time when everyone in the world started making a habit of watching the World Cup.
But if Pele departed the scene having accomplished everything, Neymar, who is the same age, still has everything to do. He’s not fully to blame for this. The World Cup has treated him badly. He was simply too young for 2010, suffered a serious injury in the 2014 quarterfinals, and was likely performing as well as could be expected following a lengthy injury layoff four years ago in Russia.
Neymar predicted that the World Cup in Qatar would be his last. Even Copa America is not among his accomplishments. Therefore, it is now all or nothing. What transpires in the coming weeks will determine his legacy in the eyes of his countrymen. Aware of it, he had been getting ready for this. The timing seems accurate. He frequently performs at his peak during the first half of the European season, but a highly promising generation of Brazilian attackers has recently emerged to help relieve some of the pressure on his frail frame.
Is Neymar deserving of a spot in the Pele-built house? is one of the key questions looming over this World Cup, and it couldn’t be more intriguing.