Dani Alves
Mexico's Pumas signed Brazil defender Dani Alves last July after he left Barcelona for a second time AFP / Ulises Ruiz

Former FC Barcelona defender Dani Alves is facing a nine-year prison term over accusations that he sexually assaulted a woman.

The incident reportedly took place in a nightclub in Barcelona last year in December. Alves was in the Spanish city on holiday after featuring for Brazil at the FIFA World Cup 2022 when the incident took place.

During the time of the alleged assault, Alves was contracted with Mexican club Pumas UNAM. On 20 January 2023, the right-back was arrested for a sexual assault allegation and he has been in jail since. As a result, Pumas ended Alves' contract with the club.

The Prosecutor's Office is reportedly seeking a prison term of nine years for Alves, along with a hefty amount for damages of around £130,500. The right-back, who has also made 126 appearances for the Brazil national side, will also be handed a restraining order after the jail term.

In a television interview, Alves initially denied he knew the woman involved in the case. The 40-year-old footballer later said that he did have consensual sex with his accuser, but denied any wrongdoing.

"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 told Spanish outlet La Vanguardia in June.

A trial date is yet to be set for Alves, who has notably changed his testimony on at least four occasions so far. In August, a court in the Barcelona area formally indicted Alves and later decided there was enough evidence to send him to trial.

A claim of rape in Spain is investigated under the general accusation of sexual assault and convictions can lead to prison sentences of between four and 15 years.

Having won 42 titles during his playing career, Alves is one of the most successful footballers in the history of the sport. The majority of his success came in the Barcelona shirt, where he helped the side win three UEFA Champions League trophies and six La Liga titles, among others, since joining them in the 2008-09 season. Even with the Brazilian national side, Alves won the Copa America twice, in 2007 and 2019.

Alves, who has also played for other top clubs such as Juventus and Sevilla, returned to Barcelona for a second stint during the 2021-22 season. The defender, however, managed just 13 appearances in all competitions before leaving the La Liga club for the second time in his career.