Cologne - 1899 Hoffenheim midfielder Roberto Firmino has been called up into the Brazilian national team for the first time in his career by head coach Carlos Dunga.

Dunga, a former Bundesliga player and FIFA World Cup winner with the Selecao in 1994, has included the Sinsheim superstar in his 23-man squad for Brazil’s upcoming international friendlies against Turkey (Istanbul, 12 November 2014) and Austria (Vienna, 18 November 2014).

‘Great honour’ for Firmino

After taking Germany’s top flight by storm in 2013/14 with performances of the highest calibre, Firmino was at one point touted as a dark horse to feature in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. Though he’s had to wait his turn with the national team, the 23-year-old is nonetheless delighted at being handed the opportunity.

“I’m very happy to have been nominated and want to, above all, thank the [Hoffenheim] team,” said Firmino. “They’ve made it possible for me to constantly raise my standard of play and become the player I am today.” Head coach Markus Gisdol also had words of praise for the prolific playmaker: “It’s a great honour for Roberto, but also for the team as a whole.”