DANI Alves is one of the most decorated footballers of all time, having won several top leagues in Europe and lifting the Champions League trophy three times.
The former Barcelona defender has been accused of sexual assault and is understood to deny any wrongdoing – but what are the allegations against him and will he stand trial?
What is Dani Alves accused of?
Dani Alves has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a nightclub in Barcelona on December 30, 2022.
He initially claimed that he had never met the woman in question, before later backtracking and reportedly saying the pair had consensual sex.
It was also initially reported that he had touched a woman’s underwear in the toilets of the club’s VIP area. However, it later emerged that the 23-year-old claimed she was the victim of rape.
The fact that Alves changed his story was reportedly a key factor in the decision to remand him.
This came after CCTV footage published by Spanish media allegedly showed him and the alleged victim in a VIP area and then in the toilet for 47 seconds.
The accuser said she was too scared to leave the toilet for several minutes after the alleged attack and when she finally opened the door, the footballer and his companions had left the venue.
Alves, a father of two, was released from Mexican club UNAM Pumas after his arrest in early 2023.
What did Dani Alves say about the allegations?
In a Spanish television interview after confirming the opening of a formal investigation, Alves said: “I don’t know who this lady is.
“I don’t know her name, I don’t know her, I’ve never seen her in my life.”
In June 2023, during an interview from his prison cell with Spanish reporter Mayka Navarro, Alves also said: “The only person I have to ask for forgiveness is my wife Joana Sanz.”
“I have already done that here in prison, but I have to do it publicly because the story is public, the insult I caused her is public and she deserves this public apology.”
Alves continued: “I entered the nightclub toilet after her.
“I didn’t even lock the door. The door was open the whole time. She could have left at any time because I basically sat there on the toilet seat the whole time.”
Will Dani Alves stand trial?
Alves will stand trial in late 2022 for the alleged sexual assault of a woman in a nightclub.
Three judges of the Barcelona Provincial Court announced their decision in an eight-page ruling published on November 14, 2023.
The document states: “We believe that at this time there is sufficient prima facie evidence to agree to the opening of the trial on the terms requested by the prosecutors and the prosecutor acting privately for the alleged victim.”
“The statements of the alleged victim, as well as the witness statements and expert reports forming part of these proceedings, may be considered sufficient in this regard, without prejudice to the final verdict.”
Alves’ lawyer is expected to insist that his client be cleared of any wrongdoing.
A date for the trial has not yet been set, but it is expected to take place early next year.
According to Spanish media reports, Alves could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Where is Dani Alves now?
Alves is currently incarcerated.
He is imprisoned in Brians 2 prison in Catalonia, Spain.
Alves was initially held at Brians 1 Prison, but was transferred to Brians 2 Prison three days after his arrest.