Real Madrid striker Vinicius Junior has been called up to the Brazil squad to face Guinea and Senegal after he was subjected to racist abuse in Real Madrid’s match against Valencia last week, the tenth time he has been subjected to such abuse in the league this season.
Brazil’s interim coach, Ramon Menezes, summoned Real Madrid striker Vinicius Junior, a victim of racist abuse last week, to lead “Seleção” in his two matches against Guinea in Barcelona and Senegal in Lisbon next June.
And in the absence of French Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar due to injury since February, the list of interim coach Menezes included 14 players who participated in the last World Cup in Qatar, from which “Seleção” was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Croatia on penalties.
Menezes also called up four players who had previously worn the national team’s shirt, and five others for the first time, who are full-backs Vanderson (Monaco, France), Ayrton Lucas (Flamingo), defender Nino (Fluminense), midfielder Joelinton (Newcastle, England) and striker Malcolm (Zenit St. Petersburg, Russia).
The five-time world champion, who is still without a coach since Tite’s departure as a result of the disappointing exit from the World Cup in Qatar, will face Guinea on June 17 in Barcelona and then Senegal in Lisbon three days later.
Menezes explained that the CBF is working with its Spanish counterpart to ensure that the fight against racism is a main theme of the match that will be held in Spain, following the recent abuse that Vinicius Junior was subjected to against Valencia last Sunday, which sparked global reactions.
Brazilian clubs, including former club Vinicius Flamengo, gave Vinny unconditional support. During the press conference, Menezes and the CBF members wore T-shirts that read: “If there is racism, there is no game”.
In turn, Ednaldo Rodriguez, the first black-skinned president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, last week called on his Spanish counterpart to punish the perpetrators of the repeated abuses that Vinicius was subjected to by fans of competing teams.