190802 Dani Alves
Dani Alves Image Credit: AFP

Madrid: Brazilian defender Dani Alves will be tried on sexual assault charges in Spain, the high court of Catalonia told AFP on Monday.

The date of the trial has not yet been set for the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-German star, the court said, who was detained in January after being accused of raping a young woman in the bathroom of a nightclub in late December.

The former Barcelona defender has denied wrongdoing and said that sex with the accuser was consensual. His lawyers did not immediately respond a request for comment on Monday.

Alves is expected to remain in jail awaiting the trial. His bail requests have been denied because he is considered a flight risk. The player had offered to turn in his passports and wear a tracking device.


A judge ordered Alves to be jailed after analysing the initial probe by authorities and hearing testimony from the alleged victim, witnesses, and Alves.

Alves’ lawyers unsuccessfully tried to discredit testimony by the alleged victim and other witnesses by presenting security camera footage showing that Alves and the victim were flirting with each other at the nightclub. The court had said that the flirting should not “in any way justify an eventual sexual assault.”

Under Spain’s sexual consent law passed last year, sexual assault takes in a wide array of crimes from online abuse and groping to rape, each with different possible punishments. A case of rape can carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.

The 40-year-old Alves won 42 soccer titles, including three Champions Leagues with Barcelona and two Copa Americas with Brazil. He played in his third World Cup last year in Qatar.