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Dani Alves must be used to stunts like this one. 

Dani Alves must be used to stunts like this one. 

The FC Barcelona defender proved instrumental in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Villareal, inducing an own goal and launching a cross that set up another for the Blaugrana, who remain four points behind league leaders Atlético Madrid.

His influence, however, was perhaps felt more politically than athletically. 

Midway through the game, while preparing to launch a corner kick, Alves looked onto the pitch to discover that someone in the crowd had thrown a banana at his person. Its meaning was deliberate and rooted in racism.

So Alves opened it and ate it. 

This is the second time in two years that Alves has come into the public spotlight because of racial taunts against him. Last year, after a game against Real Madrid, he complained of the crowd chanting monkey chants at him.

“We have suffered this in Spain for some time,” Alves said after Sunday’s game ended. “You have to take it with a dose of humor. We aren’t going to change things easily”

His friends, teammates, and fans responded with similar humor and pride, turning to Instagram and Twitter to say #SomosTodosMacacos: “We are all monkeys.” That included his girlfriend.

His new star teammate, Neymar Jr. 

And one-time Brazilian star Roberto Carlos.

“If you don’t give it importance, they don’t achieve their objective,” Alves added after the game. 

PHoto via @AP_AngelPerez/Twitter

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