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Brazil legend Ronaldo 'expected more' from Neymar at World Cup

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Ronaldo: Neymar memes are fun but not important (2:42)

Former Brazil striker Ronaldo comments on Neymar's theatrics and Tite's tough task of balancing whether Gabriel Jesus or Roberto Firmino start. (2:42)

Legendary Brazil striker Ronaldo said he expected more from Neymar at this summer's World Cup and wondered if the Paris Saint-Germain star was held back by injury.

Brazil fell 2-1 to Belgium in the quarterfinal stage with Neymar, who came into the tournament still recovering from March 3 surgery on his foot, unable to make the difference for his side.

And Ronaldo, who led the Selecao to their most recent title in 2002, said he was disappointed by what he saw from Brazil's leading man.

"We expected more from him because he's the team's star," Ronaldo told Sport TV.

"I don't know if it was the foot operation or something else, but I felt we was limited by something.

"He's still young, very talented and has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, but he has to learn."

Despite going out in the last eight, Neymar still leads the World Cup in both chances created and fouls received.

However, his post-foul theatrics have stolen the spotlight in Russia and on the internet, where his exaggerated reactions have been criticised and mocked by media and fans.

"I asked him five years ago and he explained that on many occasions when he's kicked he reacts in that way so that the blow isn't greater," Ronaldo explained.

"That also happened to me, I felt that I was treated unfairly when I was kicked and they wouldn't blow the whistle."

Of the many memes that have made the rounds, the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan man added: "There's a lot of creative types on social media making all kinds of memes, but you have to try to forget about it and live with it."

Ronaldo, who was no stranger to rough treatment in his storied career, highlighted the importance of keeping a cool head.

"Neymar has to control his emotions better during the matches," he said.

"He risks too much looking for yellow cards, he needs to take more advantage of his negative energy and be a little clever."