Former Brazil international and Barcelona footballer, Dani Alves, convicted of rape, has requested the court to grant him bail during the appeal process for his four-and-a-half-year sentence in Spain.

The request was made during a closed-door hearing at a Barcelona court, where Alves’ legal representation, led by lawyer Ines Guardiola, presented their arguments.

His legal team also proposed he post bail of 50,000 Euros ($54,000) or hand over his two passports to guarantee he would remain in Spain while his appeal is heard.

Alves, who spoke at the hearing by video conference from prison, assured the judges he would not flee and said he had faith in the justice system.

His lawyer argued that the footballer had served a quarter of his sentence already, highlighting the duration of his pre-trial detention.

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Public prosecutors opposed his request, arguing he posed a high flight risk.

One of the world’s most decorated footballers who played for Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, Dani Alves, 40, was sentenced on February 22 after being convicted of raping a young woman at a Barcelona nightclub in December 2022. His lawyers swiftly appealed the conviction.

The victim, who testified behind a screen to protect her identity, said Alves had violently forced her to have sex in a private bathroom of the nightclub despite begging him to release her, causing her “anguish and terror”, prosecutors said.

The defence’s argument suggested that the victim had shown interest in Alves while they were dancing at the nightclub, insinuating a mutual “sexual tension.”

However, the court’s 61-page decision firmly stated that such an interpretation did not imply consent for any subsequent actions.