By JOSEPH WILSON
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Brazilian soccer player Dani Alves was arrested Friday after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Spain and a judge later denied bail for the former Barcelona defender.
The alleged assault took place on Dec. 31 at a night club in Barcelona, police told The Associated Press.
Alves was taken into custody after he answered a police summons. State prosecutors had asked for him to be held without bail, and a judge agreed after charging him with sexual assault following several hours of testimony.
A charge of sexual assault in Spain can mean anything from unsolicited and unwanted sexual groping to rape. Police said they could not give any details on the case.
Alves denied the allegations last week in a video he sent to Spanish television channel Antena 3. While acknowledging he had gone dancing at the club on the night of the alleged assault, he said he did not know the woman and added “I have never invaded the personal space of anyone.”
The 39-year-old Alves is one of soccer’s most successful players, winning major titles for Brazil and several elite clubs, including Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, over his long career.
He currently plays for Mexican club Pumas.
Known for his creative play on the field, and a sharp wit and love of fashion off it, Alves has been one of soccer’s most charismatic figures for more than a decade.
The defender was a key part of Barcelona’s golden years playing between 2008-16 on the team’s right flank behind Lionel Messi. He won the Champions League three times with the Catalan club, which he briefly rejoined last season. He also helped Brazil win two Copa America trophies and an Olympic gold medal at age 38.
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