Neymar hits back at Pele criticism

European Transfer News

Neymar, 26, left FC Barcelona in 2017, in a deal that shocked the football fraternity due to his status as a global icon and playing within a side widely considered as one of the best clubs in Europe.

After winning every piece of silverware on offer with the Blaugrana, the Brazil international completed a world-record £200m transfer, as the Ligue 1 champions activated his release clause.

His move was cited as a way of stepping out of the shadow of five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi and increase his own chances of lifting the coveted individual honour, but his journey has somewhat dwindled over the past two years.

Despite scoring 48 goals in all competitions as he maintains the domestic dominance of PSG, Neymar has so far been unable to inspire the French giants to UEFA Champions League glory or lead Brazil to an international title.

While Selecao legend Pele accused him of 'wasting his God-given talent' due to his theatrical diving displays in Russia.

But Neymar has been blunt in issuing his disapproval of Pele's sentiments as per Canal; "Pele's criticisms? I've found them interesting.

"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 Pele's criticisms but I don't approve them."

With the project with Les Parisiens seemingly not following its course, the lure of Real Madrid or a sensational return to Barca has been mooted, but the player who earned a podium Ballon d'Or finish in his final season in Spain has conceded that nothing concrete has come up.

"Rumours of me leaving? There have been rumours like that since I've become a pro," he said.

"But there's nothing concrete. As soon as there is something certain, I'll talk about it and I'll assume it, be sure of that.

"I want to win everything, especially the Champions League since it's every player's dream."

Neymar has scored 60 goals in 96 international caps and trails Pele's all-time scoring record by 17 goals - a feat he achieved in 92 appearances.