Brazil manager Luis Felipe Scolari has slammed Jose Mourinho for criticising Neymar and calling him a diver, insisting that the Chelsea manager is just worried about having to play him if Barcelona draw the Blues in the Champions League.
Mourinho claimed the Neymar was diving when Barcelona played Celtic last month, joining a chorus of pundits who have in the past been particularly harsh on South American players.
And Scolari has hit back at the Chelsea manager, insisting that Neymar does not dive any more than any other player and accusing Mourinho of setting up the media to his advantage.
"Every manager likes to use the media to their own benefit and Mourinho is doing just that," Scolari told the Guardian. "He knows that Chelsea could play Barcelona in the Champions League sooner or later and he is already putting supporters, media and referees against Neymar.
"It's disappointing and Mourinho didn't really need to resort to that. We get along but I find Mourinho's crusade against Neymar absurd."
Chelsea were once a serious contender for Neymar's signature but the 21-year-old turned down interest from the Blues and Real Madrid to join Barcelona last summer.
He will no doubt becentral to Brazil's 2014 World Cup campaign and is already starring for Barcelona, who sit at the top of the La Liga table.
And should Chelsea face Barcelona in the latter stages of the tournament it will certainly bring to light the rivalry that Mourinho appears to be continuing with his former rivals, with the manager having had multiple run-ins with the Catalan giants during his time at Madrid.