The 21-year-old striker has been compared to his legendary compatriot, but the 72-year-old has revealed his belief that Neymar is overrated and too focused on his image.
"For the national team, he's just an ordinary player," Pele told O Estado de Sao Paulo.
"He's got a huge responsibility and his greatest concern is to change his style, change his haircut.
"Every match we have outside the country, he doesn't perform well. Everyone thinks he's supposed to be the answer to every problem we have in the national team [but] Neymar is not ready for that much weight, he can't do it."
Pele then added his belief that Neymar's disappointing displays for Brazil, in comparison to those with Santos, where he has won the Copa Libertadores, are down to a lack of exposure to European tactics.
"He doesn't play in a foreign country, and European football is very different from what we play here in South America," he continued.
"He wants to get the ball, dribble, use his skills [but] he needs to leave the ball a little, play for the team.
"He's very inexperienced internationally. Barcelona would be the ideal place for him [but] I don't think he will leave because Santos still need him."