The Paris Saint-Germain forward was criticized for his own attitude during the match which was an important milestone for him.
Neymar scored a hat-trick as Brazil twice came from behind to beat Peru 4-2 in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday.
In last year’s Copa America final replay, Neymar got two penalties and converted both as he jumped over Ronaldo to score the second most goals in Brazilian history.
Zambrano was sent off at the last minute of regulation, after team-mate Carlos Caceda was shown a red card three minutes earlier in Lima.
While acknowledging Neymar’s quality and status in football, Zambrano – who plays for Boca Juniors – lashed out at the former. Barcelona go on.
“To be honest, he is a great player, one of the best in the world, but for me he is a real clown,” Zambrano told American Television program ‘La banda del Chino’.
“[Neymar] realizes everything he does on the pitch, he is a great player but he looks for the slightest foul.
“In the penalty area he threw himself four or five times to see if they would award a penalty and in the end he reached his goal, with two penalties, but it didn’t.”
Zambrano added: “It’s Brazil and to the touch [immediately] they go to see VAR. Whether the drama is positive or negative, they review the image because it is Brazil. “
With 64 international goals, Neymar surpassed Ronaldo (62), only behind Pele (77) for Brazil’s all-time record at 28.
Neymar’s treble display against Peru is also the fourth chance he has scored three or more goals for his country in a single match, but the first time in a competitive match.
Although Zambrano was not impressed by Neymar’s performance, Ronaldo praised the 28-year-old for surpassing his tally of goals and support it to keep shining.
“All my respect goes to you @neymarjr !,” the 44-year-old former striker wrote via Instagram. “He played a lot, helped, played, dribbled and thrashed. The sky’s the limit. Fly, kid!
“What a beautiful story you are writing. A complete and mature player. Keep trusting your instincts because the talent is yours and no one can take it from you.
“You have many records to overcome and a sign to go. Proud to see a Brazilian at the top!”