Neymar reached out to Ronaldo with a classy message after he overtook the legendary striker on Brazil’s all-time goalscorer list with a hat-trick in the side’s 4-2 victory over Peru.
Peru drew first blood in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying match as Andre Carrillo’s stunning volley broke the deadlock early on in Lima before Neymar equalised from the spot in the 28th minute.
Renato Tapia’s deflected strike restored Peru’s advantage but their lead was short-lived as Richarlison scrambled home Roberto Firmino’s header and Neymar put Brazil in front with his second spot-kick of the evening.
Neymar nudged in his third at the death, shortly after Carlos Zambrano’s sending off reduced Peru to ten men, and the goal took the PSG forward to 64 goals in 103 games for the national side, two clear of Ronaldo’s tally (62 goals in 98 games).
Only Pele (77 goals in 92 games) has found the net more times in Brazil’s history and the moment was not lost on Neymar, who paid tribute to Ronaldo following the match.
‘All my respect for you PHENOMENON,’ he shared on his social media pages.
Brazil head coach Tite hailed Neymar’s incredible feat at his post-match press conference and declared that the attacker continues to improve with age.
‘Each historic moment of the national team, each generation, has its own value,’ he said.
‘It has Ronaldo, an extraordinary phenomenon. There were Rivaldo, Romario, Bebeto, each had their times.
It’s unfair to make comparisons between them.
‘He is the player for the assist and the finish too and he gets better and better and with an increasing degree of maturity.’