DANI Alves’ wife has spoken of her heartbreak as the Brazil footballer was held in custody accused of a nightclub sex assault – days after her mother died.
Joana said she lost the ‘two pillars in my life’ after her mother died and her husband was remanded in custody[/caption]
His detention by an investigating judge came days after Joana’s mother died while awaiting surgery for womb cancer.
She slammed hospital delays in an emotional Instagram post about her mum’s death last week.
And she added after the double blow of Dani’s arrest: “I ask media who are outside my house to please respect my privacy at this moment.
“My mother died a week ago and I have barely begun to take on board that she is no longer with me, for me to be tormented with the situation of my husband.
“I have lost the only two pillars in my life.
“Have a little empathy, instead of looking for news in other people’s pain, thank you.”
Joana, who married the former Barcelona defender in 2017, was pictured cheering him on in Qatar when he became Brazil’s oldest player at a World Cup aged 39.
Dani’s first wife, mum to his two children, also backed him following Friday’s arrest.
Brazilian businesswoman Dana Dinorah told a Spanish TV show: “I’m still in shock. It seems like it’s a nightmare and it’s not happening.”
She added: “Dani would never ever ever do this.
“I say this because I’ve known him for 22 years and was married to him for ten.
“This has been a shock for me and for my children. I have two teenage children who are suffering.”
Alves was sacked by Mexican club UNAM Pumas after he was remanded in custody by a judge in Barcelona.
He had agreed to be questioned over allegations he assaulted a woman at the city’s swanky Sutton venue on December 30.
After giving a statement to cops, he was driven to court to be quizzed by an investigating judge.
The alleged victim was also questioned by the judge, local media reports.
She reportedly said the footballer followed her from a VIP area into the toilets where he slapped her and assaulted her.
The judge ruled Alves should be kept in custody, and he had been in the cells since at a jail outside the city.
Today it emerged he has sacked his lawyer and hired a top attorney who also represented Lionel Messi in his tax case.
He has placed his faith in Cristobal Martell, a well-known Barcelona-based legal expert.
Mr Martell has also represented politicians accused of corruption and Barcelona FC in the Neymar transfer fraud case.
Reports in Spain said the footballer’s family wanted him to select a new legal team after claims of alleged contradictions in statements before and after his arrest.
Alves 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.”
But he admitted he was at the nightclub when told he was filmed on CCTV, reports say.
Security camera footage published by local media is said to show Alves heading to the toilet and emerging 47 seconds later.
The woman is said to have broken down in tears after Alves left the club ten minutes later.
Court officials have confirmed the footballer is under investigation for sexual assault but have not specified the exact nature of the allegations.
The new lawyer’s first move is expected to be an appeal against the decision to remand him in custody.
He is expected to request for Alves to make a new statement to the investigating magistrate who sent him to prison last Friday.
Brazil star Dani Alves was arrested and quizzed by a judge on Friday[/caption]
Alves became Brazil’s oldest World Cup player aged 39 in Qatar, cheered on by second wife Joana[/caption]
She was heartbroken after the death of her mother last week[/caption]
Alves is accused of assaulting a woman at Sutton club on December 30[/caption]