Alves responds to racist taunts at Villarreal

Dani Alves opted for a light-hearted approach after he was the victim of racial abuse during Barcelona's win over Villarreal on Sunday.

Racism reared its ugly head in Spain after a banana was thrown from the stands as Barca came from behind to beat Villarreal in La Liga at the El Madrigal.

The banana landed at the feet of Alves just as he was about to take a corner kick for the visitors but instead of throwing it away the Brazil international peeled the fruit and consumed it while delivering the set-piece.

After the game, Alves said responding with humour was the best way to combat racism that has plagued football for many years.

"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," Alves told reporters.

Alves 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 it importance, they don't achieve their objective."

The 30-year-old also received support from Barca and Brazil team-mate Neymar, who posted a picture on Instagram with the caption: "We are all monkeys, we are all the same. Say to no racism."

Sunday's incident is not the first time Alves has been subjected to racist taunts.

The former Sevilla fullback complained of monkey chants during Barca's Copa del Rey semi-final first leg against rivals Real Madrid last season.