VINICIUS JUNIOR WINS SOCRATES AWARD AT THE 2023 BALLON D’OR CEREMONY
10/30/2023, the Ballon d’Or Ceremony presented by Didier Drogba and Sandy Heribert, Châtelet Theater in Paris
Real Madrid FC and Brazil Football star, Vinicius Junior receives from H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Patron of Peace and Sport, the Sócrates Award for his leading role for education in his home country and fight against racism at the 67th Ballon d’Or ceremony, succeeding Sadio Mané, the 2022 winner.
As leading advocate for champions social commitment, Peace and Sport in collaboration with the L’Equipe France Football Group created the the Sócrates Award to reward the best actions of solidarity carried out by committed football players. Heroes, role models and sources of inspiration for young people around the world, professional footballers have become media figures that implies assuming a social responsibility.
Vinicius Jr, Real Madrid FC winger is only 23 years old but his life is already quite an adventure: first a prodigy from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, he has become an international icon and leader in the fight against racism, of which the Brazilian was often the victim.
Numerous problems in the stadium have marked the last few months, and Vinicius Jr has carried the fight against racism on his shoulders and encourage football stars such as Mbappé or Lukaku to join him.
“We must raise our voices, always a little more and together. I want a world where a father conveys to his son that being racist is bad” Vinicius Jr – France Football, October 2023.
Education is at the heart of Vinicius’ actions. As Brazil is facing strong social inequalities, which manifest in the access to quality education for all, he created the Instituto Vini.Jr. which proposes innovative pedagogical solutions to act on this major issue. The actions of his institute aim to reduce the digital divide in Brazil between the public education system and public schools, a divide that was accentuated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Patron of Peace and Sport
I share the conviction that sport has a unique and extraordinary vocation to bring people together in a common cause.
As Patron of Peace and Sport, I am delighted to see that more and more athletes are taking action and getting involved in programs that promote social cohesion. I would like to congratulate Vinicius Junior who is genuine inspiration for the youth of the World and I hope that this Socrates Award will encourage him to pursue his efforts for a more inclusive and peaceful world through Sport.
Joël Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport
Professional athletes are role models and have the power to inspire and connect with audiences around the world. With this conviction, Peace and Sport created the Champions for Peace Club to support and mentor such athletes wiling to demonstrate their social commitments to building fairer and inclusive societies. We are therefore very proud to partner with the L’Équipe Group, and the prestigious Ballon d’Or Ceremony to reward Vinicius Junior, a football player committed to empower the youth through sport.
Vinicius Junior, Laureate of the Socrates Award
Receiving the Socrates Award, after Sadio Mané in 2022 is a great honor. It is a privilege for me and for my team working for Vini Insti to be recognized for our impact. I am looking forward to present this trophy to all the person involves in the Institutes and to strengthen our actions towards the Brazilian Youth.
Rai, President and Founder of the Gol de Letra Foundation and brother of Sócrates
Sócrates has always believed in the power of sport to mobilize and transform society to make it more equal. As a brother of Socrates and a Brazilian, I am proud to see his legacy continued through Vinicius Jr.
About Peace and Sport
Peace and Sport is an international organization under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, and is aware that athletes are also citizens who can play a role in society. In 2009, Peace and Sport created the Champions for Peace Club, a group of athletes from all five continents. Heroes, role models and sources of inspiration for young people around the world, they dedicate part of their time, their fame, and their experience as athletes to projects using sport to address social, economic, and educational issues.
About the Ballon d’Or
France Football has organised the Ballon d’Or®, the most distinguished individual trophy in the world, since 1956. The award is presented to the best male and female players of the season. The Kopa Trophy (best young player) and Yashin Trophy (best goalkeeper) are also awarded at the same ceremony. Moreover, three prizes are awarded to the men’s and women’s club of the season, as well as the striker of the year. The Sócrates Trophy, which rewards players involved in social and charitable projects, was awarded at the 2022 ceremony.
Crédit Stéphane Mantay / L’Equipe