Brazil vs Bolivia: score, goals, highlights, Neymar record | World Cup qualifiers
Brazil vs Bolivia: Minute-by-minute
Neymar scored twice in a 5-1 win over Bolivia to surpass Pele as Brazil's all-time record scorer.
Brazil were playing their first game under interim coach Fernando Diniz and looked to have got off to a perfect start when they won a penalty after 15 minutes. Up stepped Neymar, who need just one goal to break the record, but his weak spot kick was saved by Guillermo Viscarra.
However it didn't take long for Brazil to find the breakthrough and Rodrygo struck midway through the first half to give his side a well-deserved lead at the break.
Brazil started fast in the second half with two quick-fire strikes from Raphinha and Rodrygo to settle the game in their favour. But the loudest cheer of the night came on the hour-mark when Neymar swept home a loose ball to score his 78th international goal.
Bolivia scored a late consolation through Victor Abrego but it was Neymar who had the final word, scoring his second of the evening with a close range finish in stoppage time.
It was a promising start to life under Diniz and historic night for Brazilian football.
Neymar surpasses Pele's record
There are very few names, maybe none, in the history of football that can match the global resonance of Pele. The Brazilian legend lifted the World Cup three times and has been his nation's record goal scorer for half a century.
On Friday evening Neymar broke Pele's incredible record of 78 international goals, writing his own name into the history books. The goals came via a second half brace in a 5-1 win over Bolivia.
Neymar has broken Brazil’s all-time goal scoring record with two goals in a comfortable victory over Bolivia. The 31-year-old overtakes Brazilian legend Pele to lead his country's goal-scoring charts.
Here's how he did it...
Neymar brace helps Brazil to 5-1 win
He hasn't played a single minute since February, but Neymar marked his return to action with a fine performance against Bolivia on Friday evening. The 31-year-old becomes Brazil's all-time record scorer with a well-taken brace.
Earlier the game a double from Rodrygo and another from Raphinha had given Brazil a comfortable lead.
Brazil cruise to five-goal victory
A perfect night for Fernando Diniz in his first outing as interim coach. Neymar breaks the scoring record, Brazil look much-improved and the team starts the qualification campaign with a comfortable victory.
Such is the magnitude of the moment, a couple of Brazil fans can't contain themselves and sprint onto the turf to take selfies with Neymar.
The Brazilian forward humours their request and poses for a photo, before the duo are removed by stadium security. There's a party atmosphere around Estadio Olimpico do Para!
And it's a second for the man of the moment!
Brazil's all-time top scorer adds to his record-breaking tally with a late strike. Bolivia goalkeeper Viscarra did not cover himself in glory with that.
We're going to have five minutes of added time at the end of the second half.
It is Neymar who takes it but his curled effort is well over the crossbar.
We're into the final moments now...
Raphinha is fouled on the edged of the Bolivia box, giving his side a goal chance from around 20 yards out. Neymar will fancy a strike at goal here...
Bolivia are still flying into tackles in the final minutes, unwilling to let Brazil stroll past them.
Brazil, meanwhile, seem intent on enjoying themselves.
Gabriel Magalhaes (Brazil)
The Arsenal defender picks up a late knock and will need to be replaced. That's a blow for Brazil, and possibly for his club side too...
So close! Neymar
On the ball, 30 yards from goal with nothing really on, Neymar decides to let fly and nearly beats Viscarra from range.
His curling effort cannons back off the crossbar!
There's a bit of fight from Bolivia now, who stage another foray up field and look to catch Brazil sleeping again. This time there's no one in the middle to finish the chance, but it's given Brazil recent to think twice before throwing everyone forward.
Well, where did that come from?
Bolivia have a rare break and Abrego sprints through on goal, smashing the ball past a stationary Ederson in the Brazil net. The crowd is stunned.
Lovely play from Brazil as they look to slice through Bolivia once again.
Neymar can't quite squeeze the final pass through, but it's a joy to watch.
And we're on to another water break now. A chance for Bolivia to take a breath and regroup.
The Bolivians are started to get frustrated and substitute flies into Neymar near the touchline. Little attempt to take the ball there, but he got plenty of the man.
Don't be surprised if Neymar is withdrawn fairly soon, for his own safety.
There is a real mood of celebration now! Brazil have looked irresistible since the half time break and Neymar has written his name into the history books. Every time they come forward there's a real sense of anticipation from the crowd and the Bolivians are looking tired.
What a moment in Estadio Olimpico do Para as Neymar edges ahead of the great Pele at the top of Brazil's all-time scoring charts.
It was a nice finish, too, whipping the ball home from the penalty spot!
Neymar hits record-breaking 78th goal for Brazil in his first appearance for six months!
There it is, Neymar has his goal!
A historic moment in the history of Brazilian football as Neymar becomes the all-time record goal scorer in the history of the Selecao!
Bolivia are really flying into the tackles now.
Bruno Guimaraes and now Danilo and hacked down by wild Bolivia challenges. the visitors are lucky not to have taken a booking there.
Free kick from the right flank, which Neymar will take for Brazil.
GOAL confirmed for Brazil.
After many minutes at the screen, the referee has decided to allow the goal.
It seems to be for a foul from Richarlison off the ball!
Richarlison, who was in an offside position, may have obstructed the run of a Bolivian defender. Referee is still inspecting the images...
But wait a minute, something is being checked by VAR.
The referee is going over to the pitchside screen to check...
And it's another, Rodrygo with his second!
Brazil are running riot at the start of the second half.
A golden chance for the Tottenham Hotspur man, who jumps on a loose ball around the penalty spot. He shows good feet to buy himself some space but he leans back and blast his right-footed effort well over the bar.
That's just the nerve-settler that Fernando Diniz would have hoped for at the break. Brazil have looked to play down the wings so far tonight and it is the wide men - Rodrygo and Raphinha - who have the goals.
The second half had barely begun when Neymar drifted into a pocket of space midway through the Bolivia half. He looked up and slid a perfect pass into the path of Raphinha on the right wing.
The Barcelona forward moved in on goal, dummying to shoot twice, before slipping a left-footed shot past Viscarro and into the far corner.
Straight away, Brazil have a second!
This time it's Raphinha, slotting home after a brilliant through ball from Neymar.
The hosts take a two-goal lead.
And we're back!
Brazil get us underway in the second half, holding a one-goal lead.
You would imagine that interim Brazil boss Fernando Diniz is probably fairly happy with how that opening 45 minutes went. The defence looked solid, aided by the double pivot of Bruno Guimaraes and Casemiro, allowing the front four to express themselves.
Rodrygo and Raphinha have both looked dangerous on the wings, while Neymar nearly scored a sensational goal after a spell-binding solo run. Richarlison has looked a little quiet, but has done a decent job of occupying the Bolivian backline.
Real Madrid's Rodrygo makes the difference
Rodrygo has been tasked with filling the void left by the injured Vinicius Jr for Real Madrid, and he's stepping up in place of his club teammate for the national team too. Playing off the left wing, Rodrygo has looked dangerous for Brazil in the opening 45 minutes.
It was his direct running that won Brazil's penalty - which Neymar missed - and the Real Madrid man was on hand to tap home the hosts' goal.
And that's the half!
The hosts take a one-goal lead into the half time break, thanks to a poacher's finish from Rodrygo midway through the opening 45.
We'll have two minutes of added time at the end of the first half.
Brazil win a corner and work it short, finding Rodrygo on the edge of the box.
His effort is blocked and Bolivia are on the attack, but the Real Madrid man gets back in time to slow the counter and Brazil recover.
Neymar is really in the mood now, looking like he is thriving on the atmosphere in Estadio Olimpico do Para. Every time he picks up the ball there's a sense of anticipation in the crowd.
Absolutely incredible stuff from Brazil's Number 10 as he dribbles from the halfway line, dancing through the Bolivia defence. He is faced with a one-on-one with Viscarra but can't quite find the power for his left-footed shot.
His effort is saved, but that was a breath-taking piece of play from Neymar!
Strong shouts for another penalty for Brazil as Rodrygo takes a tumble in the box.
It looked a bit soft, really. No surprise to see the appeals waved away.
Strong run from Raphinha on the right flank, skipping past Fernandez to get into the penalty box. He shifts the ball onto his left foot and fires at goal but it's comfortably saved.
More good stuff from the hosts.
Nothing comes of the visitors' set piece and Brazil are back on the ball.
The double pivot of Guimaraes and Casemiro is offering Brazil an impressively solid base on which to build the play, allowing the attacking quartet to express themselves further up the pitch.
Interesting stuff from Fernando Diniz' men in the early stages.
And we're back. Bolivia are straight on the offensive with a long ball that forces a mistake our of Ederson.
Bolivia have a corner...
We'll have a brief pause for a drink after a frenetic opening quarter of the game.
Fernando Diniz was expected to bring excitement and action to the national team and the new interim coach certainly seems to have delivered so far.
It was nice play from Brazil who managed to work the ball through to Raphinha in space on the right side of the penalty box. His powerful shot was parried by Viscarra in the Bolivia goal but Rodrygo was on hand to finish at second attempt.
And Brazil have the break through!
The Real Madrid man was there to latch onto a loose ball and poke home from close range. Estadio Olimpico do Para explodes!
And there's that frustration. Neymar, tracking back after losing the ball, flings an arm out and catches the Bolivian player.
It's a booking for the Brazil talisman.
Brazil continue to push forward and have managed to carve out a couple of half chances from crosses, but there's definitely a sense of frustration having squandered a golden early chance.
A silence falls over Estadio Olimpico do Para...
The 31-year-old had a golden chance to mark his return to action by breaking Pele's Brazilian goal-scoring record. It was a weak penalty and Viscarra was able to smother the effort.
On we go...
Incredible! Neymar's penalty is saved by Viscarra!
The Bolivian players are looking to crowd out the penalty spot and disrupt Neymar's preparations.
It is indeed Neymar who steps up to take in search of his 78th goal for Brazil. A nation holds its breath...
Remember, Neymar is just one goal away from becoming Brazil's all-time record goal scorer!
Could this be the moment?
It's a penalty for the hosts after a brilliant combination between Neymar and Rodrygo!
Who will take it...
A great run by Renan Lodi finds him behind the Bolivian back line and he chips a cross to the back post. Guimaraes is there to connect with the ball but the Newcastle man can't get a clean connection on it.
Renan Lodi is playing very high for Brazil, allowing Rodrygo to drift in side and look to pick up the ball in pockets of space. With two holding midfielders, Guimaraes and Casemiro, Brazil look very solid in the opening stages.
Bolivian forward Moreno is doing his best to make the ball stick up front but finds himself very isolated. Still, he's working well out of possession to try to disrupt Brazil's build-up play.
It's getting fiesty already!
A clumsy tackle from Bejarano wipes out Jesus and there's abit of a coming together on the halfway line. Neymar falls to the floor after a slight push from the Bolivian, but the referee is content to just award Brazil a free kick.
The 22-year-old is down injured, although it's only a minor knock.
Marquinhos gets us back underway and Brazil are back on the ball.
The free kick, taken by Neymar, goes just wide of the near post and skims the side netting.
A promising start for Brazil.
In the opening moments it looks like Neymar is enjoying being back on the pitch! The 31-year-old drops in between the holding midfielders to build the play, before bursting forward and drawing a foul midway through the Bolivia half.
Six months out? Looks pretty fresh!
And we're off...
Bolivia, playing in all green, get us underway at Estadio Olimpico do Para!
ICYMI: Brazil vs Bolivia starting XIs
Brazil: Ederson - Danilo, Marquinhos, Gabriel, Lodi - Guimaraes, Casemiro - Raphinha, Neymar, Rodrygo - Richarlison.
Bolivia: Viscarra - Fernandez, Suarez, Jusino, Quinteros, Medina - Cespedes, Villamil, Bejarano - Arrascaita, Moreno
We're nearly ready to go...
Just a couple of minutes until Brazil get their qualifying campaign underway. The road to the 2026 World Cup starts here!
And now a stirring rendition of the Brazilian national anthem.
This is the first time that interim boss Fernando Diniz has taken charge of the Selecao in a competitive fixture, a major moment in the coaching career of the Fluminense boss.
The players are out on the pitch at a raucous Estadio Olimpico do Para. There's barely a spare seat in the house and the Brazilian team get a fine reception in from of the home crowd in Belem.
Now it's onto the national anthems; first up, Bolivia.
Manchester United midfielder Casemiro will wear the armband for Brazil tonight. The 31-year-old has a wealth of top level experience, having lifted the Champions League five times with Real Madrid.
Now he is tasked with leading Brazilian football into a new era on the international stage.
In 2010, aged just 18, Neymar made his senior debut for the Brazil national team. In the subsequent 13 years he has risen to become one of the world's most talented and more celebrated players, regularly replicating his incredible club form on the international stage.
In 124 games for Brazil Neymar has scored 77 goals, putting him level with footballing icon Pele. The 31-year-old can put himself clear as Brazil's all-time top scorer with a goal tonight.
Brazil fans are ready for kick-off
In around half an hour Brazil will get their qualifying campaign for the 2026 World Cup underway, a chance for the team to put the chastening experience of the 2022 tournament behind them. The Selecao suffered a quarter-final defeat to Croatia in Qatar.
The team, led by interim coach Fernando Diniz, will be desperate to start off with a win tonight.
And here's the Bolivian starting XI...
The visitors to Estadio Olimpico do Para are undoubtedly the underdogs and they look to be starting out in a defensive 5-3-2 to frustrate their technically superior opponents...
Viscarra - Fernandez, Suarez, Jusino, Quinteros, Medina - Cespedes, Villamil, Bejarano - Arrascaita, Moreno
Brazil starting XI to take on Bolivia
Here's how the Selecao shape up in their first game under interim boss Fernando Diniz...
Ederson - Danilo, Marquinhos, Gabriel, Lodi - Guimaraes, Casemiro - Raphinha, Neymar, Rodrygo - Richarlison.
Neymar starts for Brazil!
Despite having not played since February, and having not made a single appearance for new club Al-Hilal, Neymar will start against Bolivia tonight! He joins Rodrygo Goes and Raphinha in an attacking trident behind Tottenham Hotspur's Richarlison.
The big question of everyone's lips ahead of tonight's game, is whether Neymar will be fit to play for Brazil. The 31-year-old has not played since February due to an ankle injury and has only recently returned to training with new side Al-Hilal.
Nevertheless, he could be in contention to play tonight. We should have team news from Estadio Olimpico do Para shortly...
World Cup qualifying fixtures
South America sides got their qualification process for the 2026 World Cup underway this week with five intriguing fixtures. The headline news from the opening round of fixtures was a late Lionel Messi free kick that handed Argentina a win over Ecuador.
Can eternal rivals Brazil match their winning start when they take on Bolivia in little over an hour?
The inclusion of Neymar in the Brazil squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers was one of the more surprising of interim coach Fernando Diniz' selections. The 31-year-old remains one of the most talented players in world football but has not played since February after picking up an ankle injury with PSG.
He left the French club earlier this summer and appears delighted to have brought his time in Paris to a close. In a recent interview he was extremely critical of the French champions...
Hello and welcome to AS USA, where we'll be bringing you all the latest news and information from the World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Bolivia.
I'm Will Gittins and I'll be taking through all the action from Estadio Olimpico do Para this evening.