Barcelona court rejects bail appeals in Dani Alves case

Court considers substantial bail and handing in of passport minimizes flight risk

Dani Alves and his lawyer Inés Guardiola at the Barcelona court where he must attend every week
Dani Alves and his lawyer Inés Guardiola at the Barcelona court where he must attend every week / Laura Fíguls

ACN | @agenciaacn | Barcelona

April 10, 2024 04:52 PM

The Court of Barcelona has rejected the appeals in the former FC Barcelona player Dani Alves's rape case, as announced on Wednesday.

The player has been found guilty and sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

The appeals presented by the public prosecution and the defense team have been rejected as the court believes that all the circumstances in the flight risk have been considered, such as familiar links.

The court ruled out a flight risk due to the severe sentence and believes that provisional prison will only be acceptable if no other measures are taken, such as handing in his passport.

Furthermore, regarding the amount of the economic bail paid by Alves, €1 million, the court says that the appeals were based on just "suppositions." As the jury reminds Alves's household in Esplugues de Llobregat, valued at €5 million, bought back in 2010 with no mortgage, currently has a €3.5 million mortgage until 2035.

Added to this, one of the reasons for rejecting the bail appeals is that the Mexican football club Pumas, where the player used to play, terminated the contract in January 2023 when Alves entered prison. A similar thing happened with many publicity contracts.

For this reason, the judge ruled that the €1 million bail is proportionate to the lack of current payments and Alves's salaries throughout his career.


The court's decision came two weeks on from Alves' three-day trial, which took place from February 6 to 8. 

On the first day, the victim testified behind closed doors, confirming what she had said during the investigation, that Alves invited her and two friends to the VIP area on the night of December 30, 2022. 

After dancing and flirting with them, Alves took the woman with him through a door, which she said 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 forced her to have sex with him against her will. 

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

A friend of the victim said that after the assault the woman was "heartbroken like never before," and said repeatedly "it hurt me a lot, it hurt me a lot." 

On day two of the trial, Joana Sanz, Dani Alves' wife, told the court that her husband arrived home "very drunk" at 4am on December 31, 2022 "reeking of alcohol."  

He collided with a wardrobe and a table before he collapsed on the bed, Sanz said. 

Defense lawyers subsequently asked for Alves to be acquitted or, alternatively, a one-year prison sentence, stressing alcohol as an extenuating factor. 

Alves testified on the third and final day of the trial, saying that the relations he had with the woman were consensual at all times and that they were both "enjoying themselves."  

"I'm not violent," Alves told the court, adding that at no point did the woman ask him "to stop or to leave." 

Reputation destroyed 

The verdict destroys Alves' reputation, one of the world's most decorated footballers. For Barça alone he won 23 major titles between 2008 and 2016, including six league titles and three Champions League trophies. He returned to the Catalan club for the 2021–2022 season.

Alves is Brazil's third most-capped player of all time.