Ronaldinho has urged Neymar to ignore the stories concerning his turbulent Paris Saint-Germain career to date and concentrate on staying happy instead.
The world’s most expensive player is said to be a fish out of water in Paris with reports in his native Brazil suggesting that he regrets his choice to move to the French capital and that he misses his son David Lucca, who lives in Barcelona.
Since making the move to Ligue 1, Neymar has endured controversy for a high-profile falling out with designated penalty taker Edinson Cavani and is also reported to be unhappy with the PSG coach Unai Emery.
Furthermore there is a suggestion of dressing room discord concerning privileges given to Neymar following his stunning €222 million move from Barcelona last summer.
But in order to secure the best chance for Brazilian World Cup glory, Ronaldinho encourages Neymar to put the rumours behind him.
“It’s very personal,” Ronaldinho told Goal in his role as ambassador for Football For Peace. “I cannot speak on behalf of Neymar.
“Through my career I always avoided reading the newspapers and watching the news because they talk about you and criticise and of course it can affect you somehow.
“I hope Neymar will be strong enough to keep smiling and playing happily and bring the World Cup back to Brazil.”
The feel-good factor is back in Brazil following the appointment of Tite as head coach. The five-time World Cup winners are among the favourites for Russia 2018 and Ronaldinho credits the upturn in form with the atmosphere fostered by their new coach.
“I believe Jogo Bonito is back but more importantly the happiness and confidence is back for the players,” he said. “The environment that Tite has made for them to be creative, to express themselves and to do what they like is the most important factor for getting confidence back in this team.”