Alan Hansen: Neymar the star – but don't expect the flair of yesteryear from hosts
The whole world will want to see Neymar emerge as the star of an expansive, free-flowing and exciting Brazil at this World Cup, but unlike Pele and Zico before him, this Brazilian No 10 does not have the supporting cast for that to become a formality.
Brazil may ultimately deliver the kind of football which the romantics, and even those who adhere to a 'winning is everything' mentality like myself, are desperate to see, but Luiz Felipe Scolari realises that the only way to keep the pressure off is by winning, so success must come before style.
In winning the Confederations Cup 12 months ago, Brazil showed they will be more functional than flamboyant. Scolari will ensure that they play with a compact structure because he knows that you have to defend well to win.
The Brazilian team of 1970 were able to blend incredible style and flair in order to win the World Cup, but the Brazil I faced in 1982 – arguably the best team never to win a World Cup – fell short of glory because they came up against an Italian team which was able to defend properly and take advantage of the Brazilians' defensive shortcomings.
Scolari proved he had learnt the lessons of history in 2002, when he guided Brazil to the World Cup with a much more compact and disciplined team than the one which failed in Spain 20 years earlier.
And with the options he has at his disposal for this tournament, you cannot envisage Brazil being anything other than a team set up to win first and entertain second.
When you look through the Brazil squad, Neymar stands out as the player who can make a difference. He is a box of tricks, has a real turn of pace and is somebody who has the ability to convert the chances that will come his way.
But beyond the Barcelona forward, Brazil lack the star quality of their previous great teams. We have all seen the limitations of David Luiz at centre-half, while the likes of Maicon and Jo have earned a place in Scolari's squad, despite doing little to impress during their respective spells in the Premier League.
But this Brazil squad lacks the depth of their greatest teams, which is why Scolari will pursue his tried and tested philosophy rather than attempt to emulate the style of 1970 or 1982.
In 1970, Pele was the focal point, but he had sensational players such as Gerson and Tostao, Roberto Rivelino and Jairzinho surrounding him. And when I played against Brazil with Scotland in 1982, they had the incredibly talented Zico as their pivotal player, but with the outstanding Socrates and Falcao, Eder and Junior also contributing to the team.
We played them in Seville and it was 100 degrees at 9pm, so I can only imagine the stats which would have emerged from that game, had they been available at the time.
Brazil were masters of keeping the ball and making their opponents work hard without it and, despite taking the lead in the game, we ended up losing 4-1 to the best team I ever played against. We barely had a kick and they absolutely annihilated us.
That Brazilian side was so flamboyant and brilliant, yet they were unable to win the World Cup.
People often talk about how Brazil's failure to realise their potential in Spain prompted a rethink of their philosophy and the abandonment of the approach which suggested they would score six if the other team scored five.
I am not convinced by that argument. My view is that it is more straightforward and that Brazil did not change their philosophy, but merely changed their approach to suit the players at their disposal.
The way Brazil played in 1970 and 1982 is the reason why all neutrals will want to see the same again this time and, although I always advocate structure, organisation and, above all, winning, I am no different to those who hope that the team of 2014 wins the World Cup with the same style.
In 1982, Brazil found it hard going early on in their first game against the Soviet Union, even falling behind, but they won the game by turning it with some brilliance from Eder and Socrates.
Maybe the same will happen this time, with Brazil having to build up a head of steam before showing their style and flair.
But the key for Brazil in terms of dealing with the expectancy in this World Cup is simply to win their games. If they leave us all breathless with amazing football, but crash out in the quarter-finals, they will be regarded by their own supporters as failures.
It is all about emerging with the trophy, and Scolari will use that to silence any complaints about style if Brazil win the World Cup on July 13. (© Daily Telegraph, London)