‘It’s impossible not to smile back’ – Pele ‘rooting’ for emotional Neymar to break his Brazilian goal record

The PSG player is now just nine back of the all-time Selecao leader after scoring vs Peru on Thursday in the Copa America

Pele has responded to an emotional interview from Neymar on Thursday night by saying he is rooting for the “always smiling” forward to break his all-time Brazilian goal record of 77 (as counted by FIFA).

Neymar teared up in the post-match interview after netting his 68th career goal for the Selecao in a 4-0 win over Peru in the Copa America. He said it’s been a difficult few years, but that he just wants to make his nation proud.

It seems his idol Pele is indeed elated with the man Neymar has become, as the 80-year-old wrote that “it’s impossible not to smile back” when watching him play.

What did Neymar say in his interview?

“It’s moving for me [to approach Pele], I’ve been through a lot these last two years,” Neymar said. “These [goal] numbers are nothing more than my joy of playing for Brazil, representing my country, my family. We’re all going through a very atypical moment, a very hard moment in Brazil and elsewhere.

“To be a role model for someone, to make people happy, it gives me joy. I love the story that I’m writing here, I want my family and friends to be proud. I hope everyone who loves this game are proud of me, because these numbers don’t really mean anything, only the pride of representing Brazil.”

How did Pele respond?

More to come…

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