The Real Madrid player received recognition for his philanthropic foundation that helps poor kids in Brazil, where he was born.
Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid has taken home the Socrates Award from the 2023 Ballon d’Or in Paris.
The 23-year-old was recognized for his humanitarian efforts with this award. Vinicius’s organization, Vini.Jr Institute, provides funding for a Brazilian educational software for impoverished kids.
Children can access free instructional resources using the app. His personal donation to the organization is expected to surpass $1 million this year and reach $2.5 million by 2024.
Co-host Didier Drogba stated on stage at the Paris awards ceremony that Vinicius’s openly anti-r/a/c/i/s/t position played a role in the decision to grant him the Socrates grant. The Brazilian has utilized his position to raise awareness of the issue after being the target of r/a/c/ι/ᵴ/т taunts in Spain on multiple occasions.
This award was given in memory of the Brazilian icon, who passed away in 2011. The inaugural Socrates Awards were given out at the Ballon d’Or ceremony last year, in 2022.
The Senegalese forward Sadio Mané, who had just joined Bayern Munich from Liverpool, was the first recipient of the award. In his home country of Senegal, Mané is actively engaged in several charitable endeavors.
He still gives away a sizable amount of his salary to support the community in his hometown of Bambali. Mané provides funding for numerous medical and educational initiatives, as well as for a school and a hospital.
In addition to Sadio Mané, Vinicius Jr. is part of the small but distinguished group of Socrates Award winners.