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.
This prize was given to the 23-year-old in recognition of his humanitarian endeavours. Vinicius’s company, Vini.Jr Institute, donates money to a Brazilian educational programme for underprivileged children.
Kids can use the app to get free educational tools. It is anticipated that he will contribute more than $1 million to the organisation this year and $2.5 million by 2024.
At the Paris awards ceremony, co-host Didier Drogba said live that Vinicius’s overt anti-racist stance was a factor in the decision to award him the Socrates grant. After often becoming the target of racist remarks in Spain, the Brazilian has used his position to raise awareness of the issue.
The Brazilian legend, who went away in 2011, was honoured with this accolade. The first-ever Socrates Awards were presented at the 2022 Ballon d’Or event last year.
The first winner of the prize was Senegalese attacker Sadio Mané, who had recently joined Bayern Munich from Liverpool. Mané is actively involved in a number of philanthropic projects in Senegal, his native country.
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.