Neymar has been branded a diver by Costa Rica and Sunderland defender Bryan Oviedo, after the Brazilian superstar escaped without punishment for simulation at the World Cup on Friday.
The Paris Saint-Germain star thought he had won a penalty for Brazil in the 78th minute of their Group E game when he fell dramatically under the lightest of touches from Giancarlo Gonzalez.
Although Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot, the Dutch referee changed his mind after consulting VAR officials.
Neymar was not cautioned for diving at the time, although new FIFA regulations mean he can be booked retrospectively.
Oviedo made his feelings clear after Costa Rica were dumped out of the World Cup, as Brazil went on to win 2-0 with stoppage-time goals from Philippe Coutinho and Neymar.
‘I just said to him, “Hey, don’t go down for everything, man”. He’s a very good player but sometimes you only just have to touch him a little and he goes to the floor,’ said the former Everton defender.
‘It is difficult when players do that. Look at the penalty — it was only the smallest of touches and he went down. They got the right decision not to allow it.’
Oviedo believes there is less cheating from English-based players, such as Chelsea’s Willian.
‘In England they do it differently and that is how I play. You see players like Willian — if you kick him he just carries on with the ball. That’s how you should play, that’s what you should do.’
Brazil defended their talisman, who burst into tears after scoring his first goal since breaking a metatarsal in February.
Brazil’s captain Thiago Silva said: ‘That kid has worked so hard to get here. It’s only the second time he’s played 90 minutes after three months out, so of course he’s feeling it.
‘He was crying on the pitch. I told him to get it all out because he’s been carrying a lot of weight. It’s not easy to go three months without playing but people don’t understand that. They keep criticising, hammering him.
‘He’s got great character because it’s not everyone who takes on the responsibility he has. He deserved his goal and we deserved the win. It’s tough for us to fight against the media. We try to respond by playing as well as possible and dedicating ourselves in training.’
Willian said Argentina’s shock defeat by Croatia 24 hours earlier made Brazil determined to win.
‘No doubt. You can never be complacent. We know that every game will be difficult to play,’ he said.
Coutinho has now scored in both games and was man of the match on Friday after his 10th goal in 10 games for club and country.
‘When he played at Liverpool he was good,’ said Willian. ‘But in football we have to improve and he is doing that. He has improved a lot.’