Dani Alves
Dani Alves pictured during his time playing for Paris Saint-Germain FC Getty Images

Former FC Barcelona defender Dani Alves is still battling rape allegations that were made against him earlier this year. He remains detained in prison, and it has now been confirmed that his wife, Spanish model Joana Sanz, has decided to end their marriage. The footballer has penned an emotional message to his partner in response to her decision.

Nearly two months since her husband was arrested over sexual assault charges, Sanz took to Instagram to share a handwritten diary entry which confirms her decision to end her marriage with the star footballer.

She started the entry with words of praise towards her former partner. "I chose as a life partner a person who in my eyes was perfect. He was always there when I needed him the most, he always supported me in everything, he encouraged me to grow, affectionate, attentive... it is so hard for me to accept that this person could break me into a thousand pieces."

She assured that her love for Alves remains, but that she has made the decision to forgive him and close the chapter on their marriage. "I continue and will continue to be, but in another way. I love him and I will always love him. Whoever says that love is forgotten is deceiving themselves or did not really love. But I love myself, I respect myself and I value myself much more. Forgiving relieves, so I take with me the magic and close this stage of my life that began on 05/18/15," she wrote.

When the rape allegations against the Brazilian first came to light in January this year, many questions were asked about the status of his relationship with his wife. It is known that he had been in Spain for the New Year holidays when the alleged incident occurred at the Sutton nightclub in Barcelona on the evening of December 30-31.

Alves was with Sanz when he flew back to attend her mother's funeral a few weeks later. It was during that trip that he was arrested on January 20 and was subsequently detained in prison following an arraignment.

In the immediate aftermath of the arrest, his club Pumas UNAM from Liga MX terminated his contract. Sanz did not speak definitively about her plans, but she deleted most of her photos with Alves from her Instagram account. She also shared that she had lost two pillars of her life, namely her mother and her husband.

Speculations over a possible divorce quickly emerged, but Sanz gave mixed signals after her first visit to see Alves in prison. At that time, she slammed journalists for reporting on their possible break-up and she declared that she will not leave Alves at the worst moment of his life.

Throughout this period, the investigation into the rape allegations continued and the judge denied an appeal to release the footballer while he awaits trial. This means that he will remain detained in the Brians 2 prison in Barcelona while the case is ongoing. Although he is innocent until proven guilty, there was enough evidence to detain him and he could not be released after being deemed as a flight risk due to his dual citizenship and significant financial capability.

Alves responds to his wife's decision to end their marriage

Now that Sanz has publicly declared her decision, Alves has responded with a letter of his own. Spanish programme "Y Ahora Sonsoles" shared the letter in its entirety, with excerpts published by Sport.

"My Dear Joana. It was almost 8 years of love, affection, respect and mutual care. In particular, in the last few years by your side, everything seems easier and more pleasurable. You and my children, Dani Filho and Victoria, were the best things that ever happened to me," read the letter [translated from Spanish].

He then went on to say that he is determined to continue fighting for his freedom with the support of his loved ones. "I will continue to fight as I have always done, believing in myself with the support and trust of those who know who I really am. I will fight to the end with the unconditional love of my children, my parents and those who continue to be by my side, to soon prove my innocence to the whole world."

It may be remembered that Alves initially denied meeting his alleged victim on the night in question. He revised his statement several times during the preliminary investigations. However, as evidence continued to come out, he was forced to admit that he had sexual relations with the woman, but he denied it in an attempt to hide his infidelity from his wife.