A Spanish court on Wednesday dismissed appeals against the provisional release on bail of former Brazil international footballer Dani Alves from jail while awaiting his conviction for rape.

One of the world’s most decorated footballers, Alves, 40, was in February sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail for raping a young woman in the VIP bathroom of a Barcelona nightclub in the early hours of December 31, 2022.

But in a surprise move, a Barcelona court last month agreed to his request for provisional release while his appeal is heard if he posted bail of a million euros (1.08 million USD), handed over his Spanish and Brazilian passports, remained in the country and presented himself to court “on a weekly basis”.

Alves, who had been behind bars since his arrest in January 2023, walked out of the Brians 2 prison in San Esteban Sasroviras near Barcelona on March 25 without speaking to the media.

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Prosecutors and the victim’s lawyer Ester Garcia appealed the decision to grant Alves bail but a Barcelona court said Wednesday it had rejected all appeals filed against the decision to release the footballer.

Alves’ lawyers are seeking his acquittal, and the appeal process could take months to complete. Prosecutors, however, want his prison sentence doubled to nine years.

Alves is widely considered one of the greatest defenders of all time, having won 42 trophies.

The peak of his career was with Barcelona between 2008 and 2016, alongside Lionel Messi, when he won 23 trophies.

At the time of his arrest, he was contracted to Mexican club Pumas UNAM. He was sacked soon after being detained.

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