NEYMAR is three goals away from breaking Pele’s Brazilian record, according to Fifa.
But the Brazilian Federation’s statistics say the Paris Saint-Germain forward is still a huge 21 behind the three-time World Cup winner.
Neymar currently has 74 goals for his country, while Pele finished his international career with 77 Fifa-registered goals.
Brazil take on Ghana and Tunisia in the next four days, so Neymar could theoretically break the record in those matches before the World Cup later this year.
However, the Brazilian Federation insist Pele netted 95 times.
This is because they count 18 goals he scored in friendly matches against the likes of Malmo, AIK, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Chivas Guadalajara, Leon, Bahia and Atletico Mineiro.
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As a result, even if Neymar nets four times in Brazil’s upcoming two matches, his home football association is still not expected to consider him their record scorer.
Neymar’s 74 goals have come in 119 appearances – a ratio of 0.62 goals per game.
Pele managed his official tally of 77 in just 92 matches.
The 81-year-old also lifted the World Cup three times in 12 years – with Brazil’s triumphs coming in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
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Neymar is yet to win the tournament with his country – his nearest attempt coming on home turf in 2014 when they reached the semi-finals before being humiliated 7-1 by Germany.
Now he heads to Qatar hoping to help Brazil claim their sixth World Cup and first in 20 years.
The five-time champions are in Group G alongside Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon.
Source: Soccer - thesun.co.uk