The winger faced criticism after the 2018 World Cup for diving and going down too easily.
Pele insisted that he needs to use his talent more, and that Brazil’s failure to win the World Cup has meant that the 26-year-old has been under more scrutiny.
He suggested that Neymar focus on playing football rather than matters off-pitch.
“It’s difficult to defend Neymar for all the things he does besides playing football,” Pele told Folha de Sao Paulo.
“He was unlucky because Brazil did not win the World Cup and he was singled out.
“I’ve been with him in Europe twice. We talked and I explained: ‘The God of football gave you the gift. What you do complicates it.'”
And now, the PSG winger has responded, and rubbished claims that he goes down too easily.
Neymar faced criticism over his diving (Image: GETTY)
Speaking to Canal, Neymar argued that he was focused out by opposition defenders during the World Cup.
“Pele’s criticisms? I’ve found them interesting,” he admitted.
“As soon as you don’t win, criticisms come.
“I’ve never been acting during the World Cup.
Pele told Neymar to concentrate on the football (Image: GETTY)
“I’ve just been subject to fouls.
“Today people talk a lot about that because it’s Neymar and everything is amplified.
“I respect Pele’s criticisms but I don’t approve them.”
Neymar scored twice on Saturday during PSG’s 9-0 thrashing of Guingamp.