Brazilian defender Dani Alves will be tried on sexual assault charges in Spain, the high court of Catalonia told AFP on Monday.
The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star was detained in January after being accused of raping a young woman in the bathroom of a nightclub in late December.
The court said a date for the trial had not yet been set.
The 40-year-old Brazilian has been held in custody without bail because the court investigating him felt there was a risk he would try to flee.
When the story first broke — and before he was arrested — Alves in a television interview initially denied knowing the woman.
But when questioned by investigators after his arrest, he changed his story, insisting that they had had consensual relations.
Alves, who could face up to 12 years in jail if found guilty, defended his innocence in an interview published in June, saying he has a “clear conscience”.
“I have a really clear conscience regarding what happened that night in the bathroom of the VIP area of the Sutton nightclub,” he told daily newspaper La Vanguardia in his first interview since his arrest.
“What happened and what didn’t happen. And what didn’t happen is that I forced this woman to do anything that we did,” he added.
In the June article, he told La Vanguardia that he had lied at first because he was afraid his wife would leave him if he admitted he had been with another woman.
At the time of the incident, Alves was on holiday in Barcelona after playing for Brazil at the World Cup in Qatar.
After his arrest, Alves, who is being held in the Brians penitentiary complex outside Barcelona, was sacked by his Mexican club Pumas UNAM.
In a highly successful career, Alves won 42 football titles, including three Champions Leagues with Barcelona and two Copa Americas with Brazil.