Dani Alves trial
Ex-Brazil international Dani Alves, seen here on the first day of his trial, testified on Wednesday POOL via AFP / Jordi BORRAS

As expected based on his most recent statements, former FC Barcelona defender and Brazil international footballer Dani Alves has denied the charges of rape that were lodged against him by an unidentified Spanish woman. He took the stand during the trial which concluded on Wednesday in Barcelona.

The rape case finally went into trial from Monday to Wednesday this week, a little over a year since Alves was arrested and detained in the Brians 2 prison in Barcelona. He was accused of raping a woman in the Sutton nightclub in the city on the night of December 30, 2022.

The 40-year-old was subsequently arrested three weeks later when he returned to Barcelona to attend the funeral of his wife's mother. He has been in prison since then, after the judge denied multiple appeals from his legal team to ask for his release on bail as he awaited the trial.

The case has finally made it into the court room and the FC Barcelona legend took the stand to say that he and his accuser indeed had sex on the night in question. However, he insisted that it was entirely consensual and that the woman could have left "if she wanted to" at any point during the encounter.

The incident took place inside the VIP comfort room of the nightclub, where Alves allegedly forced the woman to engage in the sexual act. He said that he did not hit her as he is not a violent man, and he did not force himself on her. "If she wanted to leave, she could have left, she was not obligated to be there," he said, adding that she had not asked to leave at any point while they were in there together.

He said, she said

The two sides of the story remain very different, apart from what the evidence has proven to be true. There was indeed penetrative sex that took place between Alves and his accuser, something that he initially denied.

Bruno, Dani Alves' friend
Bruno, a friend who was with Dani Alves at the time, told the court the footballer had drunk a lot before they entered the nightclub AFP / LLUIS GENE

According to the prosecutors, Alves and his Mexican friend, Bruno, bought champagne for the accuser and her two companions after they met at the nightclub. Then, Alves allegedly asked the woman, who was then 23 years old, to accompany him to another area which she did not initially realise was the VIP toilet.

She then claims that Alves had turned violent and forced her to have sex despite her repeated requests to be allowed to leave.

One of the alleged victim's friends who was also present that night told the court that the woman was visibly upset and was crying uncontrollably after she left the toilet. She alleged that Alves had hurt her and they alerted the club's staff that same night.

Police were then called to the scene and the woman was attended to by medical personnel. Evidence was gathered immediately, which led to the conclusion that the pair had intercourse.

A psychologist who treated the woman also testified during the trial and said that "she showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder". The psychologist also did not see any indication that she could be inventing the story.

Meanwhile, an expert called in by the defence stated that the woman could be experiencing anxiety due to the intense media attention brought by the case.

Bruno also testified on Tuesday, stating that Alves had consumed a large amount of alcohol before even entering the Sutton nightclub. Likewise, Alves' wife Joana Sanz, told the court that the footballer appeared very drunk and was bumping into furniture when he arrived at home that night. However, she says that they were not able to speak as he collapsed into bed soon after arriving.

Alves initially denied that he knew his accuser and claimed that he gave the false statement in an attempt to hide the infidelity from his wife. It was later proven that sexual relations had taken place, something he maintains was consensual. This led to the breakdown of his marriage to the Spanish model. Sanz filed for divorce in early 2023, but she later claimed that Alves won't sign the papers. The exact status of their marriage at present remains unclear.

What happens to Alves now?

According to Spanish law, a sexual assault charge and conviction is punishable with a prison sentence that lasts between four to fifteen years. The public prosecutor in the Alves case is seeking a nine-year jail term, plus damages worth €150,000 (£128,000) to be paid to his accuser.

A verdict is expected to come out in several weeks. Alves has now been in jail for over a year, and it will soon be revealed if he will finally be given back his freedom or if he will stay there for much longer.

His team decided not to settle the case by using a plea deal, wherein he would be required to plead guilty in exchange of a lighter sentence.