Neymar and Brazil were knocked out at the quarter-final stage despite entering the tournament as one of the favourites, as the talisman looked to win a trophy that Pele lifted three times during his career.
But the 26-year-old also spent much of last year’s tournament in Russia being subjected to criticism over diving, an accusation that clearly rankles with Neymar.
Though he has returned to top form for his club, Brazil’s consecutive failures at the last two World Cups have led some in the country to criticise their star player, and Pele revealed last week that he had spoken to Neymar, especially regarding the controversy over his alleged diving.
“Pelé’s criticisms? I’ve found them interesting,” Neymar responded in an interview with Canal.
“As soon as you don’t win, criticisms come. I’ve never been acting during the World Cup, I’ve just been subject to fouls.
“Today people talk a lot about that because it’s Neymar and everything is amplified. I respect Pelé’s criticisms but I don’t approve them.”