Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Vinicius Junior breaks down in tears as he explains impact of racist abuse

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 Mar 2024


Vinicius Junior broke down in tears in a media conference when asked about racism ahead of Tuesday night’s friendly between Spain and Brazil.

The Brazil and Real Madrid forward has been the target of racist abuse throughout his time in the Spanish capital and the ‘One Skin’ match at the Bernabeu was arranged last June as part of an anti-racism campaign in support of the player.

It followed Real’s LaLiga match in Valencia last season in which Vinicius Jr was racially abused, while he has continued to be targeted by Real’s rival fans during the current campaign.

He said: “It’s something very sad what I have been going through here. It’s tough. I’ve been fighting against this for a long time.

“It’s exhausting because you feel like you are alone. I’ve made so many official complaints, but no one is ever punished.

“More and more I’m losing my desire to play, but I’ll keep fighting.”

When asked again about the abuse by journalists, an emotional Vinicius Jr replied: “I’m sorry.

“I just want to play football, do everything for my club and my family and never see black people suffering.”

Spain defender and Vinicius’ Real Madrid team-mate Dani Carvajal said in an earlier press conference that he did not think his country was racist, but that the problem did exist in some sections on the terraces.

Carvajal said: “Those type of people should not be allowed into stadiums because it’s the ugliest thing that exists in sport.

“I think that tomorrow we have an ideal stage and match to face the fight against racism.

“A Spain-Brazil (match) is something fantastic. We are going to have a lot of fans with us in our stadium and we are going to treat it as a final.”

Spain head coach Luis de la Fuente, whose side lost their friendly against Colombia at the London Stadium 1-0 on Friday, said his side will take the initiative against Brazil.

“This match is the 10th that Spain plays against Brazil. It could perfectly be a semi-final or final of a World Cup,” De la Fuente said.

“We want and we will live up to a match of these characteristics. We have to continue to be ourselves and make as few mistakes as possible.

“Our approach will be to focus on our strengths, controlling the conditions of the opposing players, and we want to be the ones who take the initiative.”

De la Fuente confirmed Manchester City midfielder Rodrigo joined up with the rest of the squad on Monday afternoon after missing the morning’s training session due to personal reasons.



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