• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Racist abuse reducing my desire to play football- Vinicius Jr

Vinicius

Brazil winger Vinicius Jr says he feels ‘less and less’ like playing football because of the repeated racist abuse he has suffered.

Last season there were 10 such incidents against the 23-year-old reported to prosecutors by La Liga.

During an emotional news conference on Monday, Vinicius Jr added he would not be forced to leave Real Madrid and Spain and let racism win.

However, he said he was finding it “hard to move forward” from the abuse.

Brazil face Spain in an international friendly at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on Tuesday as part of an anti-racism campaign under the slogan ‘One skin’.

Vinicius Jr said: “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.

“I just want to play football but it’s hard to move forward; I feel less and less like playing.”

Last week, Real filed a complaint against referee Juan Martinez Munuera, who took charge of their win at Osasuna, for omitting alleged racist abuse towards Vinicius from his match report.

Osasuna denied there were any racist chants from their fans.

Vinicius has endured numerous instances of racist abuse in recent seasons.

They include Real’s derby win away over Atletico in September 2022, when Atletico condemned
“unacceptable” chants by a “minority” of fans towards Vinicius outside their stadium before the game.

Last June, four men were fined €60,000 and given a two-year stadium ban for hanging an effigy of Vinicius Jr near Real’s training ground in January 2023.

Three other people were fined €5,000 and banned for one year for making racist gestures during Real’s game at Valencia last May.

This season there have been reports of racist abuse towards Vinicius as Real played at Sevilla in October, at Barcelona the following week and at Valencia earlier this month.