Salvador (Brazil), Nov 16 (IANS)
Atletico Mineiro defender Jemerson has said he thought he was the victim of a prank when told of his call-up to Brazil’s national team.
The 23-year-old joined his Selecao teammates in the northeastern city of Salvador late on Saturday ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Peru, reports Xinhua.
He replaces David Luiz, who is suspended after being sent off in Brazil’s 1-1 draw with Argentina in Buenos Aires on Friday.
“I was with a friend in my car and spoke briefly with (assistant coach) Gilmar (Rinaldi),” Jemerson told a press conference on Sunday.
“Straight after the call I thought that it was a joke. Then I called my agent and he didn’t answer. It was only later that the penny dropped. This has always been my dream. Now I have to prepare myself. I have never seen so many photographers in the same place.”
Despite his call-up, Jemerson is unlikely to be given a starting berth at the Fonte Nova arena on Tuesday.
Coach Dunga is expected to entrust Corinthians centre-back, Gil, to play alongside Miranda at the heart of Brazil’s defence. Brazil are currently fourth in the South American standings with four points from their first three qualifiers.