Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior tearfully addresses racial abuse in Spain

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Real Madrid's Brazilian star Vinicius Junior tearfully speaks out against racism in Spain ahead of Brazil's friendly match

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior tearfully addresses racial abuse in Spain

In an emotional pre-match news conference on Monday, Real Madrid and Brazil's star forward Vinicius Junior opened up about the racial abuse he has faced while playing in Spain, shedding tears as he discussed the impact it has had on him both on and off the pitch. 

The 23-year-old's heartfelt statements come ahead of Brazil's friendly game against Spain, set to take place at Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Tuesday, a venue that Vinicius calls home with Real Madrid.

Despite his success on the field, Vinicius highlighted that the fight against racism remains paramount. "Playing football is important, but the fight against racism is very important," he stated, emphasizing the need for people of color to lead normal lives without the shadow of racial prejudice. He expressed his dedication to football and his wish for normalcy away from the racism that has plagued his experiences in Spain.

Vinicius has been with Real Madrid since 2018 and has faced racist chants during matches, a treatment that he admits has dampened his spirit and love for the game. "I have less and less will to play. With each complaint made, I feel worse, but I have to appear here and show my face," Vinicius shared, highlighting the emotional toll such incidents have taken on him.

Despite the challenges, the Brazilian forward has stood firm against racism, stating that leaving La Liga has never crossed his mind as it would mean letting the racists win. Instead, Vinicius calls for more action from football's governing bodies – UEFA, FIFA, and CONMEBOL – to address and combat racism more effectively.

Pointing to a broader issue, Vinicius criticized the legal system in Spain, noting, "The problem that exists in Spain is that racism is not a crime," which contributes to the frustration of victims due to the lack of punitive measures against perpetrators. He clarified that while he does not view Spain as a racist country, the presence of racists, particularly in stadiums, cannot be ignored.

Vinicius' ordeal has not gone unnoticed by his club, Real Madrid, which filed a complaint with Spanish prosecutors earlier in March following racist chants directed at him by fans of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. Last year, Spanish police arrested seven individuals for hate crimes against him, showcasing the severity of the issue at hand.

As Vinicius continues to stand against racism, he remains a vital member of Real Madrid, with a contract running until 2027, and an influential figure in Brazil's national team, having earned 27 caps and scored three goals, including participation in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The support from teammates and fans alike underscores the ongoing battle against racism in football, a battle that Vinicius Junior is determined to fight not only for himself but for future generations who dream of a sport free from hate and discrimination.

Source: Newsroom

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