Barcelona defender Dani Alves responded to a racist taunt yesterday in his side’s 3-2 win at Villarreal by picking up a banana that landed at his feet, peeling and then eating it before proceeding to take a corner kick.
Alves had already played a key part in the match sparking his team’s comeback from 2-0 down when his off-target shot was turned in by Villarreal’s Gabriel Armando in the 65th minute.
Shortly after the banana incident, Alves launched a cross that Mateo Musacchio headed past his own keeper before Lionel Messi scored Barcelona’s winner.
Spain has for long struggled with racism and the incident last night was just the latest in a long line involving the Brazilian.
Alves said after the match that humour is the best way to combat racism in sports:
‘‘We have suffered this in Spain for some time,’’ Alves said. ‘‘You have to take it with a dose of humour… If you don’t give it importance, they don’t achieve their objective.’’
Here are some comments on Alves’ reaction:
“The Brazilian took the racist gesture on the chin, nonchalantly picking up the fruit, peeling it and taking a bite. Alves had the last laugh as Barca roared back from 2-0 down to win.”
Former Barca striker Gary Lineker praised Alves:
‘‘Picked it up, peeled it, ate it and proceeded to take the corner. Top response,’’ he tweeted.
The ex-England striker then went on to make a deep and profound statement:
”Utterly brilliant reaction from Alves. Treat the racist berk with complete disdain!’’
Here’s a timeless principle we can all live by, a quote from Vincent van Gogh:
“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
Alves claimed the banana gave him the energy to deliver two assists, and ‘thanked’ the Villarreal supporter who threw a banana at him:
“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,” he said after the match.
So when Life or people throw banana at you, don’t get mad at them. Instead, let the potassium in the banana energize you to ‘score’ your life’s goals.