Dani Alves, a former star defender for FC Barcelona and the Brazilian national football team, is currently facing serious legal challenges. The celebrated footballer, known for his remarkable career and numerous titles, could potentially face a nine-year prison sentence over allegations of sexual assault.
The incident in question reportedly occurred in a Barcelona nightclub in December last year. Alves, who was visiting the city during a holiday break after playing in the FIFA World Cup 2022 for Brazil, found himself embroiled in controversy leading to his arrest on January 20, 2023. Following the arrest, his then-club Pumas UNAM in Mexico terminated his contract.
The Prosecutor's Office in Spain is advocating for a severe punishment, seeking a nine-year prison term and approximately £130,500 in damages. Additionally, Alves could face a restraining order upon completion of any potential jail term.
Alves, 40, initially denied knowing the woman involved in the case during a television interview. However, his stance later shifted, admitting to consensual sexual relations with the accuser but firmly denying any allegations of assault. "I have a really clear conscience regarding what happened that night in the bathroom of the VIP area of the Sutton nightclub. What happened and what didn't happen. And what didn't happen is that I forced this woman to do anything that we did," Alves stated in an interview with La Vanguardia.
A court in Barcelona has formally indicted Alves, determining there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. The date for the trial is yet to be set, and Alves has reportedly altered his testimony multiple times.
In Spain, rape allegations fall under the broader category of sexual assault, with convictions potentially leading to four to 15 years in prison. This legal framework underscores the gravity of the charges against Alves.
Alves's illustrious football career has been marked by unprecedented success. He is one of the most decorated players in the sport's history, having won 42 titles, including three UEFA Champions League trophies and six La Liga titles during his tenure with Barcelona. His achievements extend to the international arena, where he secured two Copa America victories with Brazil in 2007 and 2019.
Despite returning to Barcelona for a second stint during the 2021-22 season, Alves's return was short-lived, culminating in just 13 appearances across all competitions before departing the La Liga club.
The case against Dani Alves casts a shadow over an otherwise stellar career and serves as a reminder of the serious repercussions high-profile figures can face amidst allegations of personal misconduct.