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Vinicius Jr: Brazil and Real Madrid forward breaks down in tears over racist abuse endured in Spain | World News


Vinicius Jr broke down in tears during a press conference as he revealed the ongoing racist abuse he suffers in Spain is making him feel less motivated to play football.

Speaking ahead of an international friendly between Brazil and Spain, the Real Madrid winger was visibly emotional when asked about the constant racism he has had to endure in the Spanish league.

Last season, there were 10 such incidents reported to prosecutors by LaLiga, with the 23-year-old most recently the subject of racist chanting by Atletico Madrid fans before a Champions League game against Inter Milan.

Other instances of abuse included a fan at a Sevilla game allegedly directing a monkey gesture towards the footballer, and racial slurs hurled at him during a Valencia game last May.

Four men were fined €60,001 (£51,400) and given a two-year stadium ban for hanging an effigy of Vinicius Jr near Real Madrid’s training ground in January 2023.

Vinicius Junior in action against Sevilla
Vinicius Jr in action against Sevilla. Pic: Reuters

The Brazilian has faced widespread criticism in Spain for standing up against racism and on Monday he revealed the emotional toll it had taken on him.

Struggling to speak through the tears, Vinicius Jr said: “I just want to play football but it’s hard to move forward… I feel less and less like playing [due to the racist abuse].

“It never crossed my mind [to leave Spain] because if I leave Spain I give the racists exactly what they want.

“I will stay because that way the racists can continue to see my face more and more. I’m a bold player, I play for Real Madrid and we win a lot of titles and that doesn’t sit well with a lot of people.”

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Real Madrid filed a complaint with the Spanish legal authorities earlier this month, alleging Atletico Madrid and Barcelona fans subjected Vinicius Jr to “racist and hateful insults”.

Following the abuse Vinicius jr suffered during the Valencia game last May – in which he was sent off – the winger received a flood of support which spurred on several local and international campaigns to combat racism.

Brazil’s friendly against Spain on Tuesday is at Real’s Santiago Bernabeu featuring the “One Skin” anti-racism campaign.

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