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Barcelona have called for the eradication of racism from Spanish football after a fan threw a banana at Brazilian fullback Dani Alves during their 3-2 weekend away win over Villareal.

The banana landed on the pitch near Alves just as he was about to take a corner, and the Brazilian responded by contemptuously taking a bite out of the banana before setting up a goal in Barcelona’s victory.

“Barcelona totally supports and stands with player Dani Alves after the insults he received Sunday at the Villareal ground by certain people at the game,” the club said in a statement.

Barcelona welcomed the condemnation of the banana insult by Villareal, who sent a message on Twitter after their defeat saying: “Pity to see an ignoramus capable of such a lamentable act. There is no room for it in sport and even less in our club.”

Villareal’s reaction would helpful in “converting grounds into areas where sports take priority and where the bad behaviour by some people is, first, isolated and then, eradicated for good,” Barcelona said.

“I have been in Spain 11 years and it has been the same for 11 years. You have to laugh at these backward people,” Alves said after Sunday’s game.

“We are not going to change it, so you have to take it almost as a joke and laugh at them.”

Alves’ teammates and fans lent him public support.

“We are all monkeys,” his teammate Neymar said on the Instagram social networking site, where he posted a photograph of himself eating a banana and his two-year-old son hugging a cuddly banana toy.

Meanwhile, Manchester City’s Argentine striker, Sergio Aguero, posted a similar photograph.

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