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F1 icon Lewis Hamilton lauds Real Madrid ace Vinicius Jr. after Socrates Award win

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Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images

The Ballon d’Or Gala earlier this week was one of the biggest talking points in the world of football.

Lionel Messi stole the show with his record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or while Jude Bellingham deservedly picked up the Kopa Trophy.

A lesser spoken-about award on the night was the Socrates Award, an effort to recognise a player’s humanitarian work. Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr was named the winner, and deservedly so.

Lewis Hamilton praises the Real Madrid star

British Formula One legend and seven-time World Drivers’ Championship title holder Lewis Hamilton spoke to the media ahead of the upcoming Sao Paulo Grand Prix where he commended Vinicius Jr for winning the Socrates Award.

“I’m so grateful that Vinicius Jr. has been acknowledged to win the Socrates Award not only for being a great athlete but also a great spokesperson for the people and the culture. It’s very honourable.”

“It is truly inspiring to witness individuals who confront such challenges and exhibit courage in the face of adversity,” he added, as revealed by Reuters.

The 38-year-old driver also spoke about his meeting with Vini Jr earlier this year at the Italian Grand Prix,

“It was a genuine honour to meet him; he brought incredible energy to the team.”

Vinicius Jr. won the Socrates Award. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Needless to say, these are big words of praise for the young Brazilian considering that Hamilton is one of the most involved personalities in supporting youth, education, and employment for underprivileged communities.

A deserving winner

Vinicius Jr. has faced severe racial slurs on the field in recent months but has only used the same to power him to greater heights. He has now become the image of anti-racist efforts in the footballing community.

Yet, the Socrates Award was not only in light of his fight against discrimination. It was for the work he puts into his organisation, The Vini Jr Institute, that uses technology to educate underprivileged Brazilian children.

Notably, the Real Madrid star is pumping in €1 million for the same purpose this year, and the figure could well be 2.5 times in 2024.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid’s teenage sensation to join camp on Wednesday, Brazilian core to return later

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Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid enjoyed strong representation at the recently concluded European Championship and Copa America.

Dani Carvajal is the only player who returned with silverware, but it is safe to say that all the team’s stars on international duty put up displays to be proud of.

The attention now turns towards the season that lies ahead. Carlo Ancelotti and co. have already begun working ahead of the new campaign, and the internationals will begin rejoining training in the coming week, as relayed by MARCA.

The early returnees

Having suffered an early elimination in the Euro with Croatia, Luka Modric is set to return to training as early as the beginning of the coming week.

The veteran recently renewed his contract with the club and will be looking to prove that he still has it on his feet.

Modric will be available soon at Ancelotti’s disposal (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The team’s new signing, Endrick, will join forces with Los Blancos on Wednesday as he begins a new chapter in his short, yet illustrious career so far. All eyes will be on his official signing and presentation.

Meanwhile, Arda Güler and Antonio Rudiger are expected to return to training under Ancelotti towards the end of the week.

The late entries

Players who progressed relatively deeper into the recently concluded tournaments have understandably been granted a longer vacation, and both the French and English representatives of the club enjoy that luxury.

Needless to say, no specific date has been set for their return, considering that their campaign in the Euro ran deep into July.

The team’s Copa America stars, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, and Eder Militão, meanwhile, will report to training on July 31st. Federico Valverde, who finished third with Uruguay, will likely enjoy a longer hiatus.

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