BARCELONA: Barcelona’s Brazilian defender Dani Alves has threatened to quit the club if fans fail to appreciate his performance on the field. Barcelona’s results and style of play have been criticized by many fans and media pundits since Pep Guardiola’s spectacular four-year reign as coach ended in 2012, leading to rumors over the future of players including Brazil international Alves and forward Cesc Fabregas.
“How can people forget that these players have been responsible for the greatest football? Well, I don’t feel like it. That’s why there are many doubts over my staying here,” Alves told Catalan radio RAC1.
“If people put up with me as I am, fine. Otherwise I will go somewhere else,” said Alves, subject of exit rumors in recent seasons as his contract comes up in 2015.
“Whether you like it or not, I am part of the history of this club, of the most beautiful history,” Alves said. “But I need energy, I need to be content and happy.”
Alves appeared to be unhappy with the criticism directed at Barcelona, who still have a chance of winning the league if they can beat Elche away this Sunday and then Atletico Madrid in the Camp Nou a week later, on the final matchday of the season.
“We are human and things affect us and this kind of thing bothers us a lot. Just for what we have done in this club, people should appreciate the players much more than they do,” Alves said.
Meanwhile, Alves has called for the banana-thrower who sparked a global anti-racist uproar to be given his job back after he reportedly lost it due to the incident.
The young man is accused of throwing a banana on the pitch near the 30-year-old Alves as he was about to take a corner during Barcelona’s 3-2 away win at Villareal Apr. 27.
Alves won praise after he took a bite from the banana and got on with the game, drawing worldwide attention to racist incidents in Spanish football.
“My only concern is that the kid lost his job and I don’t want that. I don’t want to hurt anyone. He made a joke and it caused an uproar,” Alves told RAC 1.
“I ask that they give him his job back,” he added.
Spanish police arrested the suspected culprit, who could face up to three years in jail if convicted of inciting discrimination.
Villareal banned the man from their facilities and stadium and canceled his club membership.
Spanish dailies said the suspect was a member of the support staff of a junior Villareal team, and thus lost his job through the sanction.
Spanish football authorities fined Villareal 12,000 euros ($17,000) Wednesday but the Spanish government’s anti-violence commission has said it will appeal for a heavier punishment given the “seriousness” of the incident.