The agent of Brazil star Neymar has accused Pele of hypocrisy and jealousy after the football legend's stinging attack on the 21-year-old's attitude.
In a controversial newspaper interview published on Wednesday, Pele said Neymar had become an "ordinary player" for Brazil's national team. He added the striker needed to be more of a team player and focus less on his haircut and public image, reports Xinhua.
Neymar's representative Wagner Ribeiro said Pele had no right to comment on the star's lifestyle.
"He shouldn't stick his nose in other people's personal lives, because his own is a mess," Ribeiro said.
"He should worry about taking care of his grandsons instead of talking about Neymar's life. He has never been affectionate with them. This is jealousy. He should look after his own family."
Ribeiro said the three-time World Cup winner would not be as good as Neymar if he played in the current era.
"If Pele played today he would be inferior to Neymar because in his era defenders were slow and players' physical conditions were different. That's why he was Pele. Today the defenders fly and Neymar still manages to be one of the best in the world."
Normally a frequent user of social media, Neymar maintained his silence Wednesday amid a gathering media storm.
His Santos teammate, Arouca, was charged with fielding questions from a throng of journalists at the club's training base.
"Pele has his opinion, just like everybody else," Arouca said. "Neymar is mature enough to deal with it and overcome it."