Ex-Brazil and Barcelona defender Dani Alves is to stand trial in Spain for alleged sexual assault.
Alves, 40, has been in prison without bail since January after being arrested over an allegation he assaulted a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in December.
He denied the claims and says he had consensual sex with his accuser.
A Barcelona court has now ruled there are sufficient grounds for him to stand trial following requests by the public prosecutor and the woman’s lawyer.
“The statements of the alleged victim and the witnesses statements and experts’ reports that appear in the case must be considered as sufficient for this purpose, without prejudice to the final outcome following the plenary phase,” the court said in a statement.
A date has not yet been set for the proceedings.
Alves was formally indicted by a Spanish judge in August.
In Spain, a claim of rape is investigated under the general accusation of sexual assault and convictions can lead to prison sentences of four to 15 years.
Alves played 408 times for Barcelona, winning six league titles and three Champions Leagues across two spells, and was also part of Brazil’s 2022 World Cup squad.
His most recent club, Mexican side Pumas UNAM, terminated the Brazilian’s contract with immediate effect in January.