Real Madrid star breaks down in tears, bemoans racist abuse in Spain

Brazil’s Vinícius Júnior broke down in tears at Monday’s news conference as he admitted he has “less will to play” because of racist abuse directed toward him in Spain.

The Real Madrid forward, however, said he is not considering leaving LaLiga despite the racist chants he has heard by opposing fans since he arrived at Madrid more than five years ago.

“I’ve been here for a long time watching this and I feel more and more sad,” Vinícius said. “I have less and less will to play. With each complaint made I feel worse, but I have to appear here and show my face.

“I have asked for help from UEFA, FIFA, CONMEBOL, CBF they can fight against that. The problem that exists in Spain is that racism is not a crime.”

Vinícius spoke in Madrid ahead of Brazil’s international friendly against Spain, a game organised by the two federations to raise awareness of racism.

“I am sure that Spain is not a racist country, but there are many racists and many of them are in the stadiums,” he said. “We have to change because many of them don’t know what racism is. At 23 years old I have to teach many Spaniards what racism is.”

Vinícius has been a leading voice in the fight against racism. Last year the Vinícius Júnior law was passed in Brazil to combat racism at sporting events.

“Playing football is important, but the fight against racism is very important,” he said. “Let people of colour have a normal life. If this were the case, I would go to my club’s games focused only on playing. The only thing I want is to continue playing and for everyone to have a normal life.

“Of course, because there are so many people in football, so many better players than me that have passed through here, and I want to make sure that people in the world can evolve and improve. And that we can have equality.

“That in the very near future we can have fewer cases of racism, and that Black people can have a normal life like everyone else. I want to keep fighting for that. Even because, as I said before, if it was just for me, I would have given up, because I stay at home, where no one will swear at me, I go to the games with my head centred on the game so that I can do the best for my team.

“It’s not always possible, so I have to concentrate hard every day,” he added before breaking down in tears and getting the applause of people at the news conference.

Vinícius then spoke about the media’s approach to reporting on the abuse he has suffered.

“I think they have to talk less about everything I do wrong on the pitch, that of course I have to evolve and improve, but I’m only 23 and it’s a natural process,” he said.

“I left Brazil very young and haven’t been able to learn many things. I’m studying. I’m 23 and I’m still studying. Why can’t they, the reporters here, who are older than me, study and see what’s really going on? I’m getting sadder and sadder, I feel less and less like playing. But I’m going to keep fighting.

“Above all, I get [strength] from my family, from the fans and from those people who give me messages of encouragement to continue fighting for those who need it.”

LaLiga has filed numerous complaints in Spanish courts over alleged racist and hate insults directed at Vinícius, but many have been shelved.

Arrests have been made by Spanish police regarding racist episodes over the past year.

“The lack of punishment is what frustrates me the most, that nothing happens to all those people that do that,” Vinícius said.

Vinícius, who has a contract with Real Madrid until June 2027, is determined to continue playing in Spain.

“I have never thought about leaving LaLiga because otherwise I would give the racists what they want,” he said.

“I am going to continue in the best club in the world, scoring many goals so that they continue to see me. Racists are a minority. As I am a daring player, who plays for Madrid and we win many titles, it is very complicated. I’m going to continue because the president supports me, the club supports me and I’m going to continue to win many things.”

Photo Credit: CBF_Futebol/ X

Emotional Endrick reacts to his first international goal as Brazil defeat England at Wembley

Brazil’s 17-year-old prodigy Endrick admitted he was almost overcome by emotion after the Real Madrid-bound forward became the youngest men’s player to score an international goal at Wembley.

Endrick, who will move from Palmeiras to Madrid at the end of the season when he turns 18, struck in the 80th minute, nine minutes after coming on as a substitute, to give Brazil a 1-0 win over England in a friendly on Saturday.

“My family is here, my girlfriend, my agents. I am not much of a crier, I am holding myself, but this is something unique and I am very happy,” he said.

Based on his second half cameo, Madrid has secured another major talent for the future.

Coming on for Rodrygo in the 71st minute, Endrick wasted little time to make his mark, firing into an empty net after Vinícius Júnior was denied by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Endrick could not hide his delight as he raced away in celebration and dropped to his knees, even though he did have to wait for VAR to confirm the goal following a check for offside.

It was his first senior goal for Brazil and, at the age of 17 years, 246 days, a record for an international game at Wembley, according to statistician Opta.

He might have scored another, but could not beat Pickford with a late chance.

“All of this affected me a little at the end, the chance I had at the end. I will not lie,” Endrick said. “I was just thinking about scoring. I could only think about that. I couldn’t think about the match any longer.”

Brazil coach Dorival Junior, who was taking charge of the national team for the first time, said Endrick has all the tools to become a global star.

“If he keeps up the attitude he has shown up to now, he will be a very important name in Brazilian football and world football,” Dorival said.

He said he opted to bring Endrick off the bench rather than the more experienced Richarlison because the Tottenham Hotspur player was still recovering his form after an injury.

Endrick’s one goal was enough to win the match and end England’s 21-game unbeaten streak at the national stadium.

“We know he’s a dangerous player. He’s managed to follow in for the goal,” England manager Gareth Southgate said. “We should have defended the goal better than we did. It’s a brilliant moment for him.

Madrid secured a deal for Endrick in December 2022 when he was just 16 but already tipped to be one of Brazil’s next stars. Brazilian media said the transfer was worth nearly €60 million ($64 million).

He will be 18 in July.

Last year, he helped Palmeiras win the Brazilian league from 12 points behind Botafogo at one stage.

He will join other Brazil stars at Madrid such as Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo.

Photo Credit: CBF_Futebol/ X