Dani Alves trial day 2: former footballer's wife says he arrived home 'very drunk'

Former footballer's friends testify that they drank alcohol from lunch until dawn

Dani Alves sits in the courtroom where his sexual assault trial is held
Dani Alves sits in the courtroom where his sexual assault trial is held / Jordi Borràs
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

February 6, 2024 07:50 PM

The wife of Dani Alves, Joana Sanz, told the court in day two of the former footballer's sexual assault trial on Tuesday that after the events, in the early hours of December 31, 2022, Alves arrived home "very drunk."

Sanz explained that Alves arrived home at 4 in the morning "reeking of alcohol" and collided with a wardrobe and a table before he "collapsed" on the bed.

The player's friends who were with him for almost the whole day also explained that they drank a lot, thus trying to argue the defense of the former athlete that he would not have raped the girl in a significant state of intoxication.

Sanz, who appeared very cold toward her husband, testified last in the second session of the trial at the court of Barcelona.

She explained that on December 30, Alves had met up with some friends for lunch and that theoretically afterwards the couple would have dinner together, but he said that his mother was sick, and in the end he told his wife he would have dinner with friends.

When Alves finally arrived home at 4 in the morning Sanz was still awake. When she saw him in a bad state, she decided not to talk to him until the next day.

Sanz's version partially matches that of the accused player's friends. One of the most anticipated witnesses of the afternoon was the Brazilian friend who accompanied Alves to the Sutton nightclub that night, who gave testimony through an interpreter.

The friend explained that on the day of the events they had lunch and dinner with two other Brazilian friends in a restaurant near Hospital Clínic, where they drank a lot of alcohol. 

Regarding the alleged sexual assault, he explained that he thinks the three girls were having a great time during the night and they did not seem "uncomfortable" to him, as one of them said in yesterday's trial session.

He also said he saw Alves and the complainant dancing very close to each other. At a certain moment he saw that Alves was going to the toilet and shortly after the complainant entered.

After a while Alves came out, and later the girl. The three friends said their goodbyes and after a while he and Alves decided to leave too because it was "late" and they had been drinking too much. He said they didn't see the girls when they left.

The manager of the Sutton nightclub also said that Alves "wasn't as usual," but that he suspects that he had drunk too much or had taken something else.

Dani Alves is scheduled to testify in the final court session on Wednesday.

Rape accusation 

The woman's lawyers are asking for a 12-year prison sentence for Alves – the maximum legal time allowed for crimes of sexual assault with penetration – in addition to more than €150,000 in compensation. Public prosecutors are asking for a nine-year prison sentence.  

Alves has been in preventive detention since January 2023 and has changed his lawyer twice, having been refused bail on several occasions. 

Alves was reported to the police for sexual assault by a 23-year-old woman who accused him of raping her in the bathroom of a VIP area at the Sutton nightclub in Barcelona on the night of December 30, 2022. 

The former Barça player has changed his version of events three times, initially denying that he knew the woman, then saying that sex was instigated by her, then that she performed oral sex on him while he was defecating in the toilet, and finally that it was consensual penetrative vaginal sex. 

None of Alves' versions have helped him get out of prison on bail, nor has he been able to convince the judge that he did not pose a flight risk. 

According to the version of events from the alleged victim, which has been consistent since the beginning, the Brazilian footballer invited her and two friends to the VIP area on the night of December 30, 2022. 

After dancing and flirting with them, Alves allegedly took the woman with him through a door, which she says she thought was a space to smoke.

Once inside, she was surprised to find herself in a small bathroom and wanted to leave, but Alves allegedly forced her to have sex with him against her will

The woman's version has been corroborated by several security cameras, witnesses, her fingerprints on the toilet, Alves' DNA on her clothing and vagina, and injuries she sustained that are consistent with her story.