Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Brazil coach Tite named Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes to the national team for the first time Friday as the Selecao launch their qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup.

Guimaraes, who has stood out for Olympique Lyonnais since arriving at the French Ligue 1 club last month, will make his debut with the men’s senior team when Brazil play qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru later this month.

The 22-year-old has emerged as a promising prospect: he helped Athletico Paranaense to victory in the 2018 Copa Sudamericana and 2019 Copa do Brasil, and was named best player of the CONMEBOL Olympic qualifying tournament in February, playing with the Brazilian Under-23 squad.

“Bruno Guimaraes had a great season in the Brazilian championship last year with Athletico Paranaense, and he’s been consolidating and strengthening his play with the Under-23 team and Lyon,” Tite told a news conference, announcing his roster.

Unsurprisingly, he also named star Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain teammate Marquinhos.

The most notable absence is Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, who will be replaced by Manchester City’s Ederson.

Tite included three players from current Brazilian powerhouse Flamengo, the reigning league and Copa Libertadores champions: midfielder Everton Ribeiro and strikers Gabriel Barbosa and Bruno Henrique.

And despite the toll of the new coronavirus in Italy, he named defenders Alex Sandro and Danilo of Juventus.

“We will contact the medical department for each player’s team to ensure every athlete is monitored individually… and will take all necessary measures to prevent the disease and ensure the health of all players and staff,” team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said in a statement.

Brazil play Bolivia on March 27 in a home match in the city of Recife, then face Peru away in Lima on March 31.

The five-time world champions were eliminated from the 2018 World Cup by Belgium in the quarter-finals.

Brazil squad for March World Cup qualifiers:

Goalkeepers:  Ederson (Manchester City/ENG), Ivan (Ponte Preta), Weverton (Palmeiras)

Defenders: Daniel Alves (Sao Paulo), Danilo (Juventus/ITA), Alex Sandro (Juventus/ITA), Renan Lodi (Atletico de Madrid/ESP), Marquinhos (Paris SG/FRA), Eder Militao (Real Madrid/ESP), Felipe (Atletico Madrid/ESP),  Thiago Silva (Paris SG/FRA)

Midfield: Casemiro (Real Madrid/ESP), Arthur (Barcelona/ESP), Fabinho (Liverpool/ENG), Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich/GER), Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon/FRA), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo)

Strikers: Neymar (Paris SG/FRA), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool/ENG), Richarlison (Everton/ENG), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City/ENG), Everton (Gremio), Gabriel Barbosa (Flamengo), Bruno Henrique (Flamengo)