The 23-year-old Real Madrid forward expressed his gratitude for being appointed as a UNESCO representative, stating that it was not just an honor, but also an achievement and a lifelong responsibility. He emphasized his desire to be recognized not only as a great player, but also as a citizen who strives to make a difference.

UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay praised Vinicius for not only being an exceptional football player, but also for his dedication to promoting equal educational opportunities in Brazil. Vinicius, who has faced racial abuse in Spain, has emerged as a prominent figure in the fight against racism in football.

In 2021, he established the Instituto Vini Jr., an organization aimed at helping underprivileged children and teenagers in Brazil’s disadvantaged areas return to school. Vinicius’ humanitarian efforts earned him the Socrates award and a sixth-place finish in the Ballon d’Or voting.

Vinicius joined Real Madrid as a teenager from Brazilian club Flamengo for a transfer fee of 45 million euros. He is contracted with the Spanish club until 2027.

UNESCO estimates that 250 million children and teenagers worldwide are unable to attend school due to social inequality, a major contributing factor to their dropout rates.