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Racist Taunts Impact Vinicius Junior’s Desire To Play Football

Brazilian forward Vinicius Jr. broke down in tears while addressing the persistent issue of racism that he has endured, expressing that it’s making him increasingly reluctant to continue playing football.

Last season, La Liga recorded 10 incidents of racial abuse targeted at the 23-year-old winger.

In an emotionally charged press conference on Monday, Vinicius affirmed his determination not to succumb to racism by leaving Real Madrid and Spain. However, he confessed to struggling to overcome the impact of the racial abuse he has faced.

Ahead of Brazil’s friendly match against Spain at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, part of an anti-racism initiative dubbed ‘One Skin’, Vinicius emphasized his resolve to remain in Spain, stating, “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,” he added.

Acknowledging his bold style of play and the success he has achieved with Real Madrid, Vinicius lamented the difficulty he faces in maintaining his enthusiasm for the sport, saying, “I just want to play football, but it’s hard to move forward; I feel less and less like playing.”

Recently, Real Madrid lodged a complaint against referee Juan Martinez Munuera for reportedly failing to include instances of racist abuse directed at Vinicius in his match report following Real’s victory over Osasuna.

However, Osasuna denied any allegations of racist chants from their supporters.

Vinicius has been subjected to numerous incidents of racial abuse in recent seasons, including derogatory chants from Atletico Madrid fans during Real’s derby win in September 2022.

In a separate incident, individuals were fined and handed stadium bans for displaying an effigy of Vinicius near Real’s training ground in January 2023.

Additionally, three individuals were fined and banned for making racist gestures during Real’s match against Valencia in May of the same year.

This season, reports have emerged of racial abuse directed at Vinicius during matches against Sevilla, Barcelona, and Valencia.

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