Neymar, Messi, Pele, Ronaldo: Who're the top South American international scorers?

On Monday afternoon UK time, Neymar added yet another international goal to his tally.

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar scored the only goal of the game as Brazil beat Japan 1-0 in a friendly.

Neymar converted from the penalty spot in the 77th minute of the encounter, which means he’s now found the back of the net 74 times in total for his country.

For a player that’s certainly not an out-and-out striker, that is a hugely impressive record and it’s only a matter of time before he usurps Pele and becomes Brazil’s all-time leading scorer.

So, after Neymar’s latest strike while wearing his country’s famous yellow jersey, we decided to take a look at the leading goal-getters in men’s international football from South America as a whole.

Using Transfermarkt‘s database, we’ve worked out the top 25 in that regard and our resulting list – which can be viewed below – really is wall-to-wall legends.

Neymar takes a penalty for Brazil vs Japan
TOKYO, JAPAN – JUNE 06: Neymar Jr. of Brazil converts the penalty to score his side’s first goal during the international friendly match between Japan and Brazil at National Stadium on June 6, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)

The top 25 South American international goal scorers in history

25. Ronaldinho (Brazil) – 33 goals

24. Diego Maradona (Argentina) – 34 goals

23. Ivan Zamorano (Chile) – 34 goals

22. Radamel Falcao (Colombia) – 35 goals

21. Salomon Rondon (Venezuela) – 35 goals

Salomon Rondon with Venezuela
CARACAS, VENEZUELA – NOVEMBER 17: Salomón Rondón of Venezuela celebrates after scoring the second goal of his team during a match between Venezuela and Chile as part of South American Qualifiers for World Cup FIFA Qatar 2022 at Estadio Olímpico on November 17, 2020 in Caracas, Venezuela. (Photo by Miguel Gutierrez – Pool/Getty Images)

20. Jairzinho (Brazil) – 35 goals

19. Rivaldo (Brazil) – 35 goals

18. Enner Valencia (Ecuador) – 35 goals

17. Hernan Crespo (Argentina) – 35 goals

16. Diego Forlan (Uruguay) – 36 goals

Diego Forlan with Uruguay
PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 10: Diego Forlan of Uruguay celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Third Place Play-off match between Uruguay and Germany at The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on July 10, 2010 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

15. Marcelo Salas (Chile) – 37 goals

14. Bebeto (Brazil) – 38 goals

13. Paolo Guerrero (Peru) – 39 goals

12. Eduardo Vargas (Chile) – 40 goals

11. Sergio Aguero (Argentina) – 41 goals

Sergio Aguero with Argentina
PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL – JUNE 23: Sergio Agüero of Argentina celebrates after scoring the second goal of his team during the Copa America Brazil 2019 group B match between Qatar and Argentina at Arena do Gremio on June 23, 2019 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by Alessandra Cabral/Getty Images)

10. Alexis Sanchez (Chile) – 48 goals

9. Zico (Brazil) – 48 goals

8. Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina) – 54 goals

7. Romario (Brazil) – 55 goals

6. Edinson Cavani (Uruguay) – 56 goals

Edinson Cavani with Uruguay
MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY – FEBRUARY 01: Edinson Cavani of Uruguay celebrates after scoring the third goal of his team during a match between Uruguay and Venezuela as part of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers at Centenario Stadium on February 01, 2022 in Montevideo, Uruguay. (Photo by Pablo Porciuncula – Pool/Getty Images)

5. Ronaldo (Brazil) – 62 goals

4. Luis Suarez (Uruguay) – 68 goals

3. Neymar (Brazil) – 74 goals

2. Pele (Brazil) – 77 goals

  1. Lionel Messi (Argentina) – 86 goals
Lionel Messi after scoring five goals for Argentina vs Estonia
PAMPLONA, SPAIN – JUNE 05: Lionel Messi of Argentina reacts during the international friendly match between Argentina and Estonia at Estadio El Sadar on June 05, 2022 in Pamplona, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Neymar is now just three goals behind Pele, but he trails Messi by 12 following the Argentine’s spectacular five-goal haul against Estonia last Sunday evening.

If Messi, who turns 35 later this month, continues playing international football for the next couple of years, he may very well become the first South American player to score 100 goals.

The only other male footballers to reach a century for their country are Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) and Ali Daei (Iran).

UEFA Nations League: 15 questions on the international competition

1 of 15

What year did the UEFA Nations League officially start?

News Now - Sport News