Barcelona and a host of fellow players have backed Daniel Alves after he produced a clever riposte to a racist taunt involving a banana when taking a corner kick during Sunday’s 3-2 La Liga win at Villarreal. Alves, who has previously taken a stand against racism at matches in Spain, grabbed the banana thrown in front of him onto the pitch, quickly peeled it and took a bite before tossing away the skin and completing the kick. “We are all monkeys, we are all the same, say no to racism,” Alves’s Barca and Brazil team mate Neymar wrote on his Twitter feed with a picture of him holding a peeled banana, one of a number of high-profile players who expressed their support.
Barca earlier pledged their “complete support and solidarity” with Alves and referred to “insults he was subject to from a section of the crowd”. They also thanked Villarreal for immediately condemning those responsible.
“Barcelona accepts that the perpetrators of these insults are in no way connected to Villarreal and we value very positively the support the club offered to our player,” Barca said.
Alves complained of abuse last year after being taunted by monkey chants from sections of the crowd during a King’s Cup semi-final at Real Madrid and labelled Spain’s efforts to tackle the problem a “lost war”.
Villarreal said they had identified the culprit, whom they did not name, and had withdrawn their membership and banned them from the stadium for life.