One year ago, on the night of December 30, 2022, player Daniel Alves entered a nightclub in Barcelona, had sex in the bathroom of the VIP area and changed his life and career forever.
Whatever happened inside that space — a rape, according to the 23-year-old woman; a consensual act, according to him — caused the Brazilian to spend 345 of the 365 days of 2023 in prison, certainly the worst year of his life. And probably the victim too.
He is now awaiting trial, with a date set for February 5th of next year. Check out what those days were like below.
2 – The young woman who was with Alves at the club gives a statement to the police — who had been called by the nightclub’s security guards on the night of the 31st. She says she was with friends when the player called them to the VIP area. When going to the bathroom, she says she was followed and raped by him.
5 – Alves responds to the accusations on a Spanish TV program: “I don’t know who this lady is, I don’t know her. I don’t know her name, I don’t know her, I’ve never seen her before in my life.”
The player goes to Mexico, where he played for Pumas, but returns to Barcelona after the death of his mother-in-law, the mother of model Joana Sanz.
20 – He gives a statement at the sexual crimes police station, says he never saw her, then he only saw her and, finally, that there was “a consensual act”. He is imprisoned in the Brians penitentiary center, on the outskirts of the city. Pumas terminated the contract on the same day.
In a second statement, the woman says she does not want money, but justice. She says that he told her she couldn’t leave and that she “had to tell him that he was her little bitch.” Afterwards, he allegedly forced her head onto her penis and slapped her. Then, he would have turned the young woman around and penetrated her until he ejaculated.
22 – Security cameras at the nightclub show that the two were in the bathroom for 16 minutes, not 47 seconds, as initially reported.
23 – The young woman describes a tattoo on the player’s stomach. Alves dismisses his company’s lawyer and hires a criminal specialist, Cristóbal Martell Pérez-Alcalde.
25 – The prosecution says that Alves did not use a condom. Joana Sanz deletes photos of her husband on social media.
6 – Sanz visits Daniel Alves and denies having asked for a divorce: “I’m not going to leave him alone in the worst moment of his life.” In prison, he shares a cell with Ronaldinho’s former bodyguard and signs autographs. When he plays ball, he causes an uproar among the inmates.
16 – Alves’ lawyer, Cristóbal Martell Pérez-Alcalde, admits that there was penetration, and not just oral sex, between the two.
19 – In an interview with SheetPérez-Alcalde says that the case of the player Robinho [que está livre no Brasil, apesar de condenado na Itália por estupro de uma jovem em uma boate de Milão em 2013] hinders the request for freedom for Alves during the investigations.
21 – Court denies defense’s request for freedom due to “risk of flight”.
6 – Alves’ ex-wife, partner and mother of two children, Dinorah Santana visits him in prison: “I didn’t ask him about versions because we know he’s innocent. There’s no doubt about that.”
15 – Joana Sanz announces separation: “I close a stage of my life that began on 05/18/2015”, she wrote, referring to the date on which the former couple met. The wedding took place two years later, on the island of Ibiza, in Spain.
21 – Alves writes a letter to Sanz, which is read on a Spanish TV program: “I understand the pain that the unfair situation we are experiencing is causing and I understand that you were not able to withstand all this pressure.”
2 – Joana Sanz leaves social media to take care of her mental health.
12 – The São Paulo City Council approves a bill that establishes the “Don’t Shut Up” protocol, inspired by the Spanish “No Callem”, used in Alves’ case. The measure establishes rules for assisting victims of sexual assault, such as taking them to an isolated place, consulting them about medical care and guiding them to make a formal complaint, among others.
17 – In a second statement, Alves says he believes that she may have been offended and decided to report him because they agreed to leave the bathroom separately and act discreetly, without him showing attention or affection after the act.
23 – The “Don’t Keep Silence” bill is sanctioned in São Paulo.
6 – Joana Sanz gives an interview to a Spanish newspaper: “Yes, of course I believe that Daniel Alves is innocent. As far as I know, there has not been a trial yet and we cannot convict him before that happens.”
21 – Alves gives his first interview after prison: “I don’t know if she has a clear conscience, if she sleeps well at night. I forgive her, I still don’t know why she did all this, but I forgive her”,
25 – Joana Sanz reports threats on the networks and shows an example: “You’re going to die, bitch. We can find you anywhere, bitch. You make fun of your husband after he apologizes to you, bitch. We’re authorized to kill you .”
31 – The Spanish Court informs that Daniel Alves will be tried for rape and imposes a “mitigation to repair the damage caused” of €150,000 (R$804,000), to be allocated to the victim in case of conviction. If acquitted, the money is returned to the player. Alves could be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison if there are no aggravating circumstances.
1st – The Government of SP launches a protocol that obliges bars and nightclubs to annually promote employee training to identify and combat sexual harassment against women.
2 – A Spanish TV program says that Joana Sanz has given up on separating from Alves. She also says that the player writes to her every fortnight.
17 – Alves changes lawyers once again. Defense pays the mitigation of €150,000 (R$804,000). As a result, the player’s sentence can be reduced by half.
10 – In an interview on Brazilian TV, Alves’ ex-wife, Dinorah Santana, says she regretted having defended him against the accusations and that she had an abusive relationship with the player.
23 – Spain’s Public Prosecutor’s Office asks for nine years in prison for rape, another ten years on probation and a ban on approaching or communicating with the victim during this period.
20 – Justice sets Daniel Alves’ trial between February 5th and 7th, 2024.