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Plans for a friendly were announced on 5, June 2023 by the Spanish and Brazilian football federations. The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said that the game will “serve to reinforce both Federation’s commitment against violence and racism in football.”
They also said the friendly will be “a great celebration of football between two of the powerhouses of world football.”
Vinícius Júnior incident in Spain
The announcement of the friendly in June came on the back of the racial abuse aimed at the Real Madrid and Brazilian winger, Vinícius Júnior, by Valencia fans during a La Liga match on 21, May 2023.
Valenica were ordered to shut down the Mario Kempes south stand, where the abuse targeted at Vinícius occurred, as well as pay a €45,000 (£39,000) fine to the Spanish football federation.
The referee, Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea, wrote in his post-match report that chants of ‘monkey’ had been directed at Vinicius during the game.
Shortly after the game, Vinícius posted on Twitter “I am sorry for the Spaniards who disagree but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists.”
Match preview and head to head record
The friendly will be the new Brazilian head coach, Dorival Júnior’s second game. Three days before Brazil travel to the Bernabeu for the Spain friendly, the Seleção will play against England at Wembley Stadium. Meanwhile, it will be Spain’s first match in 2024.
The two nations have met nine times, with the last head to head taking place in the Confederations Cup final in 2013. Brazil ran out 3-0 winners in this particular game, thanks to a brace from Fred and a 44th minute Neymar strike.
Brazil have won five out of the nine meetings between the two countries, while Spain have won two and the other two games ended in a draw.