As for the 90 minutes in Para on Friday night, Rodrygo was the standard-bearer for the hosts, scoring twice as Brazil overcame Bolivia 5-1 to open qualification for the 2026 World Cup.
Still, the Real Madrid youngster had to return to the larger story.
Neymar, who had missed a penalty earlier in the game, scored Brazil’s fourth and final goal to become his country’s all-time top goalscorer, notching his 78th career international strike to overtake the legendary Pelé to become all alone at the top of the charts.
The 31-year-old has had a complicated career full of injuries, controversy and headlines. Yet he now holds the single honor of being the most prolific Brazilian striker in the country’s rich and illustrious history.
To cap off a historic night, Neymar capitalized on a mistake by Bolivian goalkeeper Guillermo Viscarra for Brazil’s fifth and final goal to secure his own brace and seal a debut victory for interim head coach Fernando Diniz.
Brazil Player Ratings vs Bolivia
GK: Ederson – 6.9
RB: Danilo – 7.3
CB: Gabriel – 7.5
CB: Marquinhos – 7.2
CDM: Casemiro – 7.1
MF: Guimaraes – 8.4
RW: Raphinha – 8.8
LW: Rodrygo – 9.1
CF: Neymar – 9.2
CF: Richarlision – 6.4