Vinicius Jr has always been on the receiving end of heavy criticism and scrutiny while a player at Real Madrid.
Over the last couple of seasons, that criticism has boiled over into abhorrent racist abuse that has plagued the winger, and he has also had to face inhumane responses when he speaks up about the issue.
However, the Brazilian winger has faced it all with great courage, and tonight in Paris at the Ballon d’Or ceremony, he has officially been awarded the Socrates Award for all his off-field efforts in making football – and the world – a better place.
He has recently been the face of a big group of superstars who are fighting to call out these injustices, and leading action to make football a more tolerant sport, uniting people to do what is right.
“I don’t mind talking about it when necessary, I hope that we can all help put an end to racism. It is very sad to have to talk about racism, I want to transmit strength to continue in the fight,” he said.
He then added: “I call on governments, it is time to end racism, not only in stadiums, but throughout the world.”
Vini also invested €4m in education for Brazilian kids
The youngster places a heavy emphasis on giving back, and wants to make sure he uses his position to help those who are not in as fortunate a position as he is.
Vini has been taking a lot of effort in improving the educational infrastructure in Brazil, allowing more children to access education and improve their quality of life.
“I am very happy to receive this award and to be able to help so many children in Brazil, get out of the favelas. It is a very special moment for me,” he said.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo