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Stoke's Philadelphia Union loanee Edu praises Barcelona's Alves for banana reaction

Maurice Edu has heaped praise on Barcelona star Dani Alves for how he handled the weekend's racism incident.

Fans at Villarreal's El Madrigal stadium threw a banana at the Brazilian defender late in the eventual 3-2 victory to the Blaugrana who scored twice late to overturn a 2-1 deficit.

As he prepared to take a corner, Alves picked up the banana, peeled it, and took a bite - basically mocking the racist act - before crossing into the area to force an own-goal which levelled it for the Catalan giants.

Alves' actions have attracted plenty of admiration from around the world, including from Philadelphia Union midfielder Edu, who was the subject of racism during his time spent in Europe with Scottish club Rangers.

"It's a really sad situation that he was put in," Edu told's ExtraTime Radio.

"It's not one, that you think in this day and age in 2014, you would hope that this wouldn't be happening.

"I think his (Alves') reaction, I think he did really well in the way he went about it. He's kind of thrown it back in their face in some ways and his post-game comments about how he was thankful to the fans because the banana gave him the potassium to make those two crosses that led to the goals.

"I think he went about it in as good a way as possible but I think it's really sad and unfortunate that in this day and age, these things still go on.

"At a sporting event, you have little kids there who are coming to watch the player that they idolize, guys that they want to be like when they grow up, but more so to enjoy themselves. You have grown men, you have women, you have children and everyone is just there for an enjoyable event.

"But there is a minority of people who come there with different intentions and to abuse players for whatever reason."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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