Dani Alves has claimed that Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar was harshly judged during the World Cup and has described his critics as "weak".
The 26-year-old suffered a broken foot in February, an injury which initially looked likely to rule him out of the tournament.
Although Neymar was able to return to fitness ahead of Russia 2018, he was widely panned for several instances of diving and playacting.
"I think [it was over the top]," Alves is quoted by Goal.com as saying. "Everything Neymar does turns into news. If he gets emotional, they criticise. If he colours his hair, they criticise. I want to see these people in Neymar's place.
"We have to focus on the things that make us mature and that help us become a real man. The rest is only silly things. Criticising is a weapon of the weak. I believe that we football players always strive to do the best for the group and for our teammates.
"Those who know Neymar know his great quality and how special he is. And I insist again, we have to take care of players like that, they illuminate football. It's players like him that make football have any sense. But as I said, criticising Neymar and players of that level is easy, what's difficult is to do what they do."
Brazil suffered another disappointing World Cup campaign at Russia 2018, exiting at the quarter-final stage.