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Vinicius breaks down in tears: ‘I just want to play football’ after racist abuse in La Liga

Real Madrid and Brazil winger Vinicius Junior fought back the tears during a press conference when describing the racist abuses he has suffered during his time in Spain.

The usually vibrant 23-year-old forward became emotional when addressing the repeated racist abuse he’s faced playing in La Liga.

“I just want to play football,” Vinicius said (via the Guardian). “But it’s getting harder and harder to focus – sometimes I just don’t feel like playing anymore.”

Vinicius has been the target of racist abuse reported to prosecutors a jaw-dropping ten times, with Atletico Madrid ‘fans’ a major culprit. 

They aimed disgusting chants of ‘monkey’ at Vinicius after a game at the Wanda Metropolitano before chillingly hanging a black effigy clad in his shirt off a bridge in the Spanish capital before another encounter.

He struggled to compose himself throughout the press conference but found the strength. 

“I’ll stay,” he declared as defiance flickered through the tears. “The racists will just have to see my face even more. They don’t like that I succeed, that I play for Real Madrid, that we win.”

Brazil face Spain in an upcoming friendly as both sides prepare for continental battles this summer. The match will be held at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu under the banner of ‘One Skin’.


Vinicius feels a responsibility to fight against the reproach he has faced for the colour of his skin, and his pain resonates with his team. 

New Brazil manager Dorival Junior spoke out against the abuse, saying: “They need to find these people. This isn’t unique to Spain. Too many suffer in silence because those in power don’t act.”

Vinicius’ teammate for club and country, Rodrygo Goes, echoed the need for consequences. “Punishment is key,” he said. “Once it starts, things will change. Right now, there’s no deterrent.”

Vinicius’ tears were a raw display of the emotional toll racism takes. 

He has fought off a massive price tag and established himself as one of the best players in the world, playing for the most successful club – he deserves to be praised, not reduced to tears by bigotry. 

He is one of the most dazzling players in world football, but racism threatens to dim that talent. 

Vinicius is not the first to suffer racist abuse this season. Juan Jesus and Mike Maignan have been on the receiving end of derogatory remarks, while Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger was racially abused by Cadiz fans

Vinicius’ voice only lends to a growing chorus demanding change.

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