Another chapter has been added to the beautiful history of Silvia Grecco and her son Nickollas: tonight, they won the 2019 FIFA Fan Award. For those unfamiliar with the duo, Nickollas – blind and autistic – was adopted by Silvia at an early age. Both being Palmeiras supporters, Silvia takes her son to the games and talks him through the action, play by play, goal by goal. Caught on camera during games, they soon conquered the hearts of palmeirenses, then Brazilians in general, and now, the world.
At the awards ceremony, Silvia made a very moving and inspiring speech, highlighting the importance of football in the lives of people with disabilities as a mean of inclusion and respect for our differences. A strong and incredible woman, Silvia Grecco!
Congratulations, Silvia! Congratulations, Nickollas! A prize more than deserved! You fill our hearts with joy and pride!
Below, a transcription of Silvia’s speech.
Good night everybody. I would like to share this prize with Justo Sanchez, who also has a beautiful love story with his son. Feel yourself grazed with this prize, Mr. Justo.
Nickollas: here in front of us, there is an audience with lots of people. Lots of players, lots of idols, Brazilian players. We are here representing our team, Palmeiras. We are here representing all the supporters of Brazil. We are representing all the supporters of the world. All of those who support persons with disabilities.
Football can transform the life of these people. There is so much love, so much dedication. And the simple gesture of me narrating the games to my son… A Brazilian journalist of TV Globo, Marco Aurélio Souza, gave us an opportunity. He watched us with the eyes and saw us with his heart. And then our history traveled the world.
I thank FIFA so much for this nomination and for, today, allowing me to tell the footballing world that persons with disabilities exist, that they need to be loved, respected and included.
Thank you, God, for allowing me to be a bridge and today represent not only my son, but every person in the world that has a disability and needs an opportunity. Thank you!
— ooo —