June 21, 2024

On Tuesday, Spain and Brazil will face off at the Santiago Bernabeu for an international friendly – but rather than being the same as any other, this one has a clear message behind it, as it will be used to promote anti-racism in Spanish football.

Vinicius Junior has been the biggest target for racism in La Liga over the last 12-18 months, and he will be lining up for Brazil in the stadium of his club, Real Madrid. For La Roja, it’s likely to be Nico Williams that is on their left wing, as he was rested for Friday’s 1-0 defeat to Colombia in London.

Williams will understand fully how serious racism is, and how much of an effect it can have. He stands with Vinicius, and he spoke to Diario AS on why he believes the 23-year-old is targeted so often – he also revealed that he has been racially abused during his own career.

“He’s insulted because he’s a great player and because he’s black. It’s very wrong and you have to cut those things. Football is to be enjoyed, not used to insult.

“It’s true that I have been targeted. I insist that you have to go to football to enjoy yourself.”

It should be a cracking occasion at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, with two great teams going head-to-head. As Williams says, hopefully those that go stick to enjoying the football.