Vinicius breaks down in tears as he discusses racist abuse in Spain

Vinicius Junior broke down in tears as he told reporters the ongoing racist abuse he suffers in Spain is making him feel less motivated to play football.

The Real Madrid and Brazil star was speaking at a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s international friendly against Spain when he was asked about the persistent racism he has to endure.

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.

Vinicius broke down in tears when asked about the racist abuse he faced in Spain

Vinicius has faced widespread criticism in Spain for standing up against racism and on Monday he revealed the emotional toll this has taken on him.

“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),” Vinicius said, at times struggling to speak through tears.

“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.”

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

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

Vinicius has suffered racial abuse on several occasions across Spain in recent years.

After Real’s win away over local rivals Atletico in September 2022, Atletico condemned “unacceptable” chants by a “minority” of fans towards Vinicius Jr outside their stadium before the game.

Last June, four men were fined €60,001 and given a two-year stadium ban for hanging an effigy of Vinicius near Real’s training ground in January 2023.

On the same day, three other people were fined €5,000 and banned for a year for making racist gestures during Real’s game at Valencia in May.

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

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