Vinícius: “If I face racism alone, the system will crush me”


The Brazilian footballer Vinícius Jr., Real Madrid forward, stated in an interview with the newspaper ‘L’Équipe’ that “the system” will “crush” him if he decides to face racism alone, being aware that he is “not” going to “change history” nor to “make Spain a country without racists.”

“If I face racism alone, the system will easily crush me. When we are all together, when important people raise the issue, like the president of Brazil, like the president of UEFA, like Kylian [Mbappé]like Neymar, great former players like Rio Ferdinand, who always writes to me and is with me in this fight… Well, that necessarily has more weight,” said Vinícius during the interview published this Friday in the French newspaper.

Thus, the Madrid player recalled the many whistles received throughout last season in LaLiga. “It happened on many occasions, and in Valencia in a flagrant and important way. I felt a lot of sadness. If I am on the ground it is to make people happy. And a group, which I know is a minority, can affect you to the point that “Don’t think about playing anymore. I learned a lot about racism. I know more every day. It’s a really complex issue,” he said.

“In the past, people suffered slavery. I am interested in it. I really hope that these episodes do not happen again. Not only with me, but with all the players, with everyone… and especially with the children. They are not prepared for these types of moments. Since I was 19 I have been interested in the topic of racism. I understand a little more how I should react. I am glad that things are changing,” he celebrated.

“The laws will change and, in the stadiums, I think that will happen less and less thanks to that. Among us we talk about it. Many players chat with me. Varane, Kylian, Hakimi, Lukaku… We must all act together so that this guy of events occur less and less frequently,” said Vinícius.

Furthermore, the Brazilian footballer explained how he had faced his confrontation with the Mestalla Stadium. “What happened in Valencia was on matchday 35, but in all the away games played before there were episodes of racism. They never did anything. I had already spoken to LaLiga to say that this had to change. They didn’t listen to me. They listened to me from the moment the whole world started talking about Spain. That made them react,” he described.

“Personally I know that I am not going to change history, that I am not going to make Spain a country without racists, nor the entire world. But I know that I can change some things. So that those who arrive in the coming years do not go through this, so that the children can have peace of mind in the future. For them I will do everything I can,” predicted the merengue striker.

“Everyone texts you when something happens, but as soon as it’s over, they don’t talk to you anymore. But I had support! From the club, of course, and also from the players, especially those who have already suffered these things. So It will change things: if the players are together. When I went through this, I received a lot of support, which is good. Above all, we must continue fighting. For a long time… Forever! This is not going to stop immediately and it will not I will stop fighting,” he insisted.

“I think that we players are already doing a lot of things and that it is up to the leagues to do their job. In Valencia, a whole group in a stadium insults a player and the next game they can play normally? With their fans, without losing points, without sanction? The change will come there. I think we have to act so that racists are afraid of saying things that could affect me, but also their lives. People need to understand,” argued Vinícius.

The Brazilian attacker stressed that “deep down, I don’t even want to transmit my fear to others.” “I just want to have peace of mind to play and know that they are not going to insult me ​​on the field because I am black. If a spectator insults me because I scored, okay. He can insult me ​​without disrespecting me. He can whistle at me the entire game. I don’t care. When It’s about racism, it’s something else,” he stressed.

“The whistles… the whistles are part of the game. Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Neymar, etc., have all experienced it. The fans of other teams provoke them and that is normal. And I also like it, it motivates me to score against them But as for racism… I don’t believe in a world without racists, but they must become a minority. Subsequent generations will no longer be able to think that it is normal for it to be like this,” he noted.

“Children today see their parents acting like that and say, ‘If he does that, it’s normal.’ I want a world where a parent tells their child that being racist is bad. As generations go by, we We will liberate. We will not end racism, but we will turn it into a minority,” Vinícius predicted.

“In the countryside people shout and you hear it. In the streets we face another type of racism. If I walk into a store and someone looks at me because of the color of my skin, that is racism. If someone applies for a job and, between “A white person and a black person determine who should be chosen by the color of their skin, and not because one or the other is better, that is racism. Personally, in Brazil I didn’t experience it much, because football made me famous for a long time.” , he recalled.

“At 9 or 10 years old I was already known. For example, I was not watched in a store. I experienced it especially on the soccer fields. Even in my native country. We have been talking about it for a long time, some may even go to prison; So I think there are fewer than in Spain, but there are many. I suffered a lot because of that,” he said.

“It’s something I want to continue fighting for. I don’t want my little brother to experience what I experienced. For my cousin not to experience it. For my loved ones to not experience it. For no one to go through these moments. It’s very sad. And I want one day not having to talk about this for 30 minutes in an interview. That will mean that things have changed and we will only talk about happy things!” he said.

On the other hand, Vinícius spoke about how much he enjoys being at Real Madrid. “I think I could stay here my entire career, but the club of my life is Flamengo. I promised my father that I would return one day. I have to keep this promise,” he remarked.

“If Camavinga or Rodrygo give me assists, or the other way around, it is also because things are going very well off the field. We also have Jude [Bellingham], who has just arrived, and Tchouameni, who has been here for a year. I took ‘Cama’ to Brazil this summer and he is already one of us. He plays like a Brazilian, he dances like a Brazilian. “He wants to come back!”, he joked about his teammates at Real Madrid.

“Rodrygo and I have known each other for years, we faced each other when we were 11 years old. The same for Militão, who I have known since a very young age. We are just a group of guys of the same age who want to achieve great things. I spend more time with with them than with my family! And besides, we don’t have a girlfriend or children. It’s easier to organize dinners,” he acknowledged with a laugh.

Finally, he gave his opinion on Mbappé’s situation and the future: “Everyone here wants to play with Kylian. I hope it happens one day. He is one of the best players, perhaps the best of all currently.” In this context, Vinícius praised Karim Benzema. “He taught me a lot, on and off the field, and he always told me the truth. He pushed me to be more focused on my goals,” he commented.

“Ballon d’Or? Let’s hope, but priority in the team. Like Karim. He gave all his assists to Cristiano and it was always Cristiano who took the trophy. In the end he ended up winning it. I always talk about the importance of my teammates. Yes I score 60 goals in one season but we don’t win, it’s of no use,” Vinícius concluded.