Barcelona’s Brazilian defender Dani Alves, last night showed exactly how to deal with racist taunts after having a banana thrown at him from Villareal supporters.
Instead of getting angry during Barça’s 3-2 win over Villareal on Sunday, he took the light-hearted approach to his taunters. Barcelona came from behind to snatch victory at El Madrigal stadium and Spain’s racism towards black players reared its ugly head once more.
The banana landed at the feet of Dani Alves just as he was about to take a corner kick but instead of getting angry and throwing it at the crowd, the Brazil international calmly peeled it and ate it while taking the corner.
After the match, Alves was asked about the incident and he said that responding with humour was the best way to deal with racism.
Dani Alves told reporters after the match: “I don’t know who it was, but thanks to whoever threw the banana, the potassium gave me the energy for the two crosses which led to a goal.”
The Brazilian added: “We have suffered this in Spain for some time.
“You have to take it with a dose of humour. We aren’t going to change things easily.
“If you don’t give importance to it, they don’t achieve their objective.”
30-year-old Dani Alves received support from team-mate Neymar Junior, who posted a picture on social networking site Instagram with the caption: “We are all monkeys, we are all the same. Say No To Racism.”
This isn’t the first time Alves has suffered racist abuse at a football match and it’s a problem that has blighted Spanish football in particular.
It’s so easy for a player to lose his cool when something like this happens and it brings back memories of Eric Cantona playing for Manchester United when he famously “kung fu kicked” an opposing supporter for shouting abuse at him. Dani Alves responded like a gentleman and needs to be commended for his actions. Only players with an attitude like Alves’ will help to eventually stamp out racism in football.
Well done Dani!
Watch Dani Alves eat the banana thrown from the terraces