Former Barcelona and Brazilian defender, Dani Alves has been arrested by police in Barcelona and driven to court for questioning after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a city nightclub.
The footballer admitted he had been at the iconic city nightclub Sutton late last month when the alleged sex crime occurred.
But he protested his innocence in a Spanish TV interview after a court confirmed it had opened a formal investigation, insisting: ‘I don’t know who this lady is. I don’t know her name, I don’t know her, I’ve never seen her in my life.’
Today the former Barcelona defender, now with Mexican side UNAM Pumas, was arrested at an undisclosed destination and taken to a police station in the neighbourhood of Les Corts to make a statement.
Local reports said the 39-year-old, who became the oldest Brazilian to play in a FIFA World Cup last month, had arranged his police interview through lawyers.
The reports also said he would be arrested and fingerprinted as part of routine procedure before being questioned and taken to the court probing the alleged sexual assault for a further quiz.
A spokesman for the regional Mossos D’Esquadra confirmed: ‘A man accused of an indecent assault at a nightclub in Barcelona late last year has been arrested.
‘He has now been taken to court after making a statement to police.
‘It will be up to the court now to decide what measures to take.’
The charge of sexual abuse in Spain can mean anything from unsolicited and unwanted sexually groping to rape. Police said they could give no detail on the case.
A court official confirmed 10 days ago: ‘Barcelona Court of Instruction Number 15 has opened proceedings over an alleged crime of sexual assault following a complaint filed by a woman against a footballer.
‘The incident allegedly occurred at a nightclub in Barcelona in December.’
A spokesman for the investigating magistrate confirmed on Thursday the footballer, who it has not named, and the woman has not yet been questioned in court.
It emerged earlier this week Alves had flown to Spain from Mexico with the permission of his club after his Tenerife-born wife model wife Joana Sanz’s mum died.
UNAM Pumas confirmed in a statement: ‘We regret the death of the mother of Joana Sanz, wife of our player Dani Alves.
‘We send our most sincere condolences.’
A well-respected Spanish news website reported at the start of the month Alves had been alone for 47 seconds in a toilet at Sutton nightclub with the woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her after he left.