A man suspected of hurling a banana at Danny Alves in a racist attack which triggered an outpouring of support worldwide for the Barcelona star, has been arrested in Spain.

National press named the man as David Campayo Lleo, 26. He has been banned for life from Villareal in the wake of the incident and has also lost his job with one of the club's youth teams, say reports.

During the Sunday's Barcelona match away to Villareal, Alves picked up a banana which was thrown onto the pitch and ate it. Footballers and celebrities around the world posed with bananas for photographs on social media.

Even politicians joined in alongside the likes of Chelsea striker Samuel Eto and others, as the #weareallmonkeys hashtag went viral.

Lleo was arrested in the province of Castellon and now could face up to three years in jail, under laws banning discrimination.

Alves blasted Spain as "backward" in the wake of the incident and spoke of his wish to publically shame the person responsible. He told Spanish media: "If I could, I would put a photo of the fan on the internet so that he would be shamed," Alves told Brazil's Radio Globo.

"There is racism against foreigners. They sell the country as being first world but in certain things they are very backward," he said.

Alves admitted he did not expect his actions to receive so much attention. "I have been surprised by everyone's support. I did it without thinking. The world has evolved and we must evolve with it."