• La Liga

Alves eats banana thrown at him by fans

ESPN staff
April 28, 2014
No room for racism

Barcelona defender Dani Alves picked up and ate a banana that landed at his feet against Villarreal before proceeding to take a corner kick, claiming later that humour is the best way to combat racism.

"We have suffered this in Spain for some time," Alves said. "You have to take it with a dose of humour. We aren't going to change things easily. If you don't give it importance, they don't achieve their objective."

Alves has often been subjected to racist taunts and called fighting racism "a lost war" in January 2013, after sections of Real Madrid's fans abused him with monkey chants.

Alves had already played a key part in the match sparking his team's 3-2 comeback when his off-target shot was turned into an own goal by Villarreal's Gabriel Armando in the 65th minute.

Shortly after the banana incident, in the 75th minute, Alves launched a cross that Mateo Musacchio headed into his own goal before Lionel Messi scored Barcelona's winner. The win kept Barcelona four points behind league-leaders Atletico Madrid.

Villarreal announced on Monday that they had identified the fan who threw the banana at Alves and handed him a life ban from the El Madrigal.

A host of footballers including Neymar, Sergio Aguero and David Luiz have rallied around Alves following the incident, posting pictures of themselves on social media eating bananas.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close