Godfrey Robert: Brazil must deliver Samba football when they play Japan
Big-time sport is a professional physical activity immersed in mind games.
No doubt, talent and skill allow top sportsmen to execute movements as if they were "second nature".
But the mind plays a big part in telling the sportsman how to go about playing his sport.
And there is one other major effector of the sportsman's performance.
It comes from the playing arena, from the onlookers.
They're the fans or spectators. Or simply, the crowd. They're at venues to watch, be entertained and wax lyrical.
Take them away, and you get an empty feeling. Just ask Holland and Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben, who recently played behind closed-doors - in the Champions League match against CSKA Moscow.
His experience was summed up thus: "Obviously now I am used to playing in front of a packed stadium, with a lot of fans. And that is how football should be."
So the pacy footballer's mantra is: "We need the fans."
And what do fans need?
That is what Brazilian football should be all about.
For it was pioneered by the legendary figure of Pele, probably the greatest footballing entertainer of all, in the late 50s and early 60s.
And then we had a stream of other single-word names, a Brazilian trait, who have provided great joy on the pitch.
On that parade area: Garrincha, Jairzinho, Tostao, Rivelino, Gerson, Socrates, Junior, Falcao, Zico, Cafu, Ronaldinho, Romario, Kaka...
And today, Brazilian football revolves around another single-word name: Neymar.
Neymar, who shone at the World Cup before his tournament ended due to injury - not unsurprisingly, for that is one weapon opponents use to bring down megastars (remember the numbed Pele on the receiving end of violent Portuguese tackles at the 1966 World Cup in England) - will be the star man for the Selecao against Japan in Singapore on Tuesday.
So, what do I want from this international friendly at our fabulous, new 55,000-seater National Stadium at the Sports Hub?
No doubt, the two teams - both flops at this year's World Cup in Brazil - will play for the pride of winning, but the result matters little to me.
Coming from the pioneer generation schooled in sport that buzzed about talent, skill, art, craft and cunning, I want to be entertained by free-flowing football.
I want goals from both teams. I want the Samba beat from the Brazilians.
I want Dunga's men to take me back to the Brazilian teams of the 1970 and 1982 World Cups which wowed the world.
To sexagenarians like me, the closest thing to Brazil in football is what India were to hockey in its pure original state - not the contaminated game of today governed by long hits and congested Ds on artificial turf.
Hockey was blessed when the magical Indian Dhyan Chand took it to stratospheric levels in the 1930s with his mazy dribbles, immaculate stickwork and body feints that gave him (and brother Roop Singh) a bagful of goals, even at the highest level of the Olympics.
His countrymen Harbinder Singh and V J Peter continued that good work, sending fullbacks and goalkeepers into confused states. Then there was Ajitpal Singh, Zafar Iqbal, Mohd Shahid, Pargat Singh and Surjit Singh, to name a few, who mesmerised opponents with tricky movements, with the ball stuck to their stick like glue.
The hockey world remembers how Pargat schemed one of the greatest comebacks in hockey when he lifted India to dizzying heights in the Champions Trophy in Perth in 1995.
Trailing 1-5 to world powerhouses Germany, with a mere six minutes remaining, the defender engineered a miraculous recovery to 5-5.
The equaliser came when Pargat collected the ball in his own half and dribbled and dodged past a sea of Germans to score a unique goal.
In football terms, that goal was reminiscent of Diego Maradona's individual effort against England in the 1986 World Cup and Ryan Giggs' scything of Arsenal in the 1998/99 FA Cup.
Such comparisons are what always make sport a topic for interesting discussion and debate.
For me, the victorious Pele and Brazil at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico edged out the successful Pele and Brazil of both the 1958 and 1962 World Cups.
Don't agree? Get the documentary "The Greatest Of Them All", and you will see why.
England goalkeeper Gordon Banks' reflex-action save off Pele and the manner of Brazil's 4-1 romp of Italian Catenaccio in the final, which gave the Jules Rimet Trophy a permanent place in Rio, evoke footballing romance and radiance.
Leave aside the Pele factor, and there is validity in the belief that the best Brazilian team were the one that did not win the World Cup.
I was there in Spain in 1982 to savour Socrates, Zico, Eder, Serginho, Falcao and Junior in the distinguished line-up.
And they showed me, and the world, what Brazilian football is all about.
After cruising through the first-round with victories over the Soviet Union (2-1), Scotland (4-1) and New Zealand (4-0), Brazil found themselves in the Group of Death in the second round.
Then the stylish Selecao beat a stubborn Argentina, who had Maradona sent off, 3-1, and faced eventual winners Italy in the next match. Match of the tournament, some billed it.
In a thriller, Italy edged out Brazil 3-2 with a Paolo Rossi hat-trick that shattered the hearts of not just the Brazilian fans but also the majority in the Spanish crowd.
The Verde-Amarela (green and yellow) have been to Singapore before; but that was the Olympic team featuring Ronaldinho (left) in 2008.
On Tuesday, we welcome the likes of Neymar, Kaka, Philippe Coutinho, David Luiz, Oscar and Willian.
And we certainly want them to resurrect samba soccer, following the recent World Cup debacle on home soil.
We want the "thing of beauty", the version that Pele and Co exhibited to the world almost 60 years ago.