Neymar, 21, has been tipped by many to have a similar impact on the five-time world champions that Pele had 50 years ago.
However, the 72-year-old has belittled his performances in a yellow shirt and went on to question his attitude towards the game.
"In all the games abroad he played badly. They all think he can solve the Selecao's problems [but] Neymar is not ready to shoulder this pressure. He does not play abroad. European football is different from the Latin American game," Pele told Estado de Sao Paulo.
"We from Santos say he is the best in the world but he is already more concerned with media appearances than playing for the team. He is preoccupied with changing his style, his haircut."
Neymar has scored 17 times in 28 appearances for Brazil.