Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr. was honoured with the Socrates Award during the prestigious 2023 Ballon d’Or gala ceremony, recognizing his exceptional contributions to the well-being of the favela residents in his homeland and his unwavering stance against racism.
During his heartfelt address, he expressed his profound gratitude, stating that attending an event of such calibre was a lifelong dream. He also reaffirmed his dedication to aiding the underprivileged in his home country, vowing to continue the noble cause.
Vinicius has been at the forefront of the fight against racism ever since stepping foot on Spanish soil.
“I will remain strong in the fight against racism,” said the Brazilian, who received the award from the Prince of Monaco.
“It is a very sad thing to talk about racism nowadays, but we have to continue in the fight so that people suffer less.
“Very happy to receive this award and to help many children in Brazil. I had little chance of getting where I have come from where I came so it is a pleasure for me to help as many kids as I can so they can have a chance,” he said as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.
He dreams of winning Ballon d’Or one day
Vinicius racked up 20 goals and as many assists for club and country last season which was enough to place him inside the top 10 list.
To be particular, he was placed sixth behind Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, and the eventual winner Lionel Messi.
However, when speaking about his ambition, he did confess that he hopes to win the Ballon d’Or one day in his career.
“Hopefully one day I can win the Ballon d’Or. I always say that I want to win many Champions Leagues with Real Madrid,” he said.
On the other hand, the Brazil international, who dedicated the Socrates Award to his fellow countryman and football legend Pele, talked about the latter, saying he is “a god who put Brazil on a different level, and people respect Brazilian players thanks to their great legacy.”
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