Dani Alves, star of FC Barcelona and PSG, to be tried for rape in Spain

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The long-awaited trial of former FC Barcelona and PSG star Dani Alves for the alleged rape of a young woman in a nightclub in December 2022 has begun in Barcelona, Spain. The trial, expected to last until Wednesday, commenced at 09:30 GMT and is being closely followed by dozens of journalists.

Alves, who has been in custody for over a year, denies the allegations and is accused by a young woman of raping her in the VIP area toilets of the Sutton nightclub in Barcelona on the night of December 30-31, 2022. According to the indictment, 40-year-old Dani Alves, who was on vacation in Barcelona after participating in the World Cup in Qatar with Brazil, allegedly displayed *“violent behavior”* towards the young woman, coercing her into sexual relations.

The indictment describes a *“situation of anguish and terror”* for the young woman, who repeatedly asked him to let her go, expressing the desire to leave, but was allegedly prevented by the accused. To protect the young woman from the intense media attention surrounding the case, her testimony will take place behind closed doors, and her identity will not be revealed during the hearings.

A screen will also be used to prevent her from being visually confronted with the accused. The tribunal, which is set to hear from around twenty witnesses, rejected a prosecution request for the entire trial to be conducted behind closed doors.

Alves had initially claimed that he did not want to jeopardize his marriage but later admitted to having a consensual sexual encounter with the young woman. Despite multiple requests, Spanish courts have denied his release on bail due to the high risk of him fleeing to Brazil, a country that generally does not extradite its nationals.

Dani Alves, one of the most decorated footballers in history, achieved the pinnacle of his career at FC Barcelona, where he won 23 trophies between 2008 and 2016. He also played for Sevilla (Spain) and Juventus in Italy before joining the Mexican club Pumas, where he was under contract until the end of the previous season before his incarceration in January 2022.

The club terminated his contract immediately following his imprisonment.

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