Spain: Match against racism in world's best stadium

source: RFEF; author: Miguel Ciołczyk Garcia

Spain: Match against racism in world's best stadium "The same skin". With this slogan, the Spanish and Brazilian national teams will meet at the Santiago Bernabeu in a friendly match that, in addition to being a celebration of football, will highlight the opposition to discrimination and violence in football.


'Jubilee' clash between La Roja and Canarinhos

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and the Brazilian Football Federation (CDF) had already agreed to play a friendly match on 5 July last year. However, it was only on January 15 that the Spaniards announced that it would take place on Tuesday, March 26 at 21:00 CEST in the country’s capital.

The meeting will be the 10th clash between the two national teams and the first since 2013. Back then, the Brazilians, in the Confederations Cup played at home, defeated La Roja 3:0 in the final at the Estádio Maracanã thanks to two goals by Fred and one hit by Neymar. Of the previous nine meetings, the balance is 5:2:2 in favour of the Canarinhos.

Construction of Estadio Santiago Bernabéu© Madrid1902

A football feast at still unfinished Bernabeu

Estadio Santiago Bernabéu will be the arena for this spectacle, while it is just entering the final stretch of a €1 billion renovation. The opening is announced for spring 2024, but the date is still unspecified. All indications are that the match will be played at the venue before it reopens after renovation.

The Spaniards, who play at home, are climbing up the FIFA rankings, where they are eighth. The Brazilians, on the other hand, have dropped from 3rd to 5th after defeats against Colombia, Uruguay and Argentina, so they will be looking to reverse the trend, taking advantage of Vinicius' great moment. The player scored a hat-trick against Barcelona at Al-Awwal Park in the Spanish Super Cup final, giving Real Madrid the victory. This promises an even and fierce encounter.

Construction of Estadio Santiago Bernabéu© Madrid1902

International reaction after challenges against Vinicius Jr.

It was the case of Vinicius Junior, who is probably the most frequent among LaLiga footballers to face racism in matches, that contributed to the idea of playing a match showing the disagreement of both countries on discrimination. This issue unites players beyond clubs or national teams, as Alejandro Balde, who plays in the colours of Barcelona and Spain, supported the Real Madrid’s striker after one of the incidents.

The abuse of the young Los Blancos star is causing outrage among Brazilian football fans, so much so that even President Lula da Silva has come to his defence, saying at the United Nations, "We can and must do more" and stressing that the behaviour of some fans crosses all boundaries.

The Brazilian president's words have been taken seriously by both national teams, and the match is going to be a good opportunity to highlight support for black players who face racism when performing in LaLiga.

Construction of Estadio Santiago Bernabéu© Madrid1902