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A team-mate in a car-jacking sex affair scandal, Gerard Pique’s been dumped by Shakira and Lionel Messi is still a star in Miami: After Dani Alves was sent to jail for rape, where are the rest of Barcelona’s iconic 2011 team now?


Danny Alves’ sentencing on Thursday morning to four years and six months in prison comes 13 years after he helped one of the best Barcelona teams of all time to a Champions League crown at Wembley. 

The Brazilian former right back was sentenced by a Spanish court after being found guilty of rape, and was ordered to pay his victim some £128,000 as well as costs on top of his sentence. 

Alves was however revealed to be in financial disarray, with a reported negative bank balance of £17,000 after having been able to call upon a fortune of some £42million earlier in his career. 

It marks an incredible fall from the top for a player who had been considered among the best in the world a decade ago, but now finds himself set for time behind bars as a result of his actions.  

Here, Mail Sport takes a look at where the rest of Pep Guardiola‘s great Barcelona team of 2011 are now in the wake of Alves’ sentencing. 

Dani Alves was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on Thursday after being found guilty of rape

Dani Alves was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on Thursday after being found guilty of rape

Alves was a member of Pep Guardiola's Champions League-winning 2011 that beat Manchester United

Alves was a member of Pep Guardiola’s Champions League-winning 2011 that beat Manchester United 

Goalkeeper 

Victor Valdes

One of the great early exponents of the now-popular sweeper ‘keeper, Victor Valdes was the bedrock of the all-consuming Barcelona teams of 2008-11. 

After 14 years at the Camp Nou, Valdes would eventually leave in 2014 for Manchester United, before moving to Middlesbrough in 2016, and announcing his retirement a year later. 

He married his long-term partner Yolanda Cardona that same year, a Colombian model with whom he has three children, and after earning his badges embarked on a coaching career. 

After a successful spell at amateur side ED Moratalaz, he return to Barcelona, but his stint lasted just a few months with the Juvenil A side before he was sacked, turning instead to UA Horta. After helping Joan Laporta earn re-election at the Blaugrana he had been linked with a second spell coaching, though this was never confirmed. 

Victor Valdes was unable to replicate his success in Catalonia with his move to Man United

Victor Valdes was unable to replicate his success in Catalonia with his move to Man United

Defenders

Right back – Dani Alves

Dani Alves was inarguably the best right back in the world for a number of years, a key component of Barca’s dominance, and had success in France and Italy with Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus respectively. 

However, after returning to Barca for a season in 2021-22, in between spells with Sao Paulo in Brazil and UNAM Pumas in Mexico, he was charged with rape after an incident in a Spanish night club bathroom. 

He was arrested in January 2023 and spent a year in jail before his trial earlier in February 2024, which culminating in his being found guilty of rape and sentenced to four years and six months behind bars. 

He also reportedly has a negative bank balance of £17,000 despite having previously had a fortune of £47million to his name, and has been ordered to pay an additional £28,000 to his victim as well as legal costs as the former football great finds himself disgraced. 

Alves was one of the world's best players in his position before his fall from grace

Alves was one of the world’s best players in his position before his fall from grace

Alves returned for a second spell at the Camp Nou in 2020 before moving to Mexico

Alves returned for a second spell at the Camp Nou in 2020 before moving to Mexico

Centre back – Javier Mascherano

Although he made his name as a defensive midfielder with the likes of West Ham and Liverpool, Guardiola transformed Javier Mascherano into one of the most dominant ball-winners at centre back in Europe. 

Mascherano was not the tallest of defenders, but next to the silky composure of Gerard Pique at the back, he was the ravenous terrier in the place of a Carles Puyol that found injury hard to shake off in 2010-11.

After hanging up his boots as a two-time Champions League winner and Barca legend, he too turned to coaching, and was appointed Argentina’s Under-21 coach in 2021, a position he still holds. 

Mascherano’s career was also not without controversy, having been found guilty of two counts of fraud in January 2016 having admitted he failed to pay €1.5m in taxes owed for 2011 and 2012. His one-year sentence was suspended and no time was served. 

Javier Mascherano is now part of the youth set-up for the Argentinian national team

Javier Mascherano is now part of the youth set-up for the Argentinian national team

Centre back – Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique was one of the modern game’s greatest defenders, with a storied career resulting in a World Cup, two European Championships, nine LaLigas and three Champions Leagues at Barca, 2011 his second title. 

However in the same year that he hung up his boots – retiring at Barcelona in 2022 – it emerged that he was splitting up with Colombian megastar wife Shakira, and is now with Clara Chia Marti, although the Waka Waka singer has taken aim at her former partner a number of times. 

A song, called ‘Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53’, has been dubbed a ‘diss track’ towards Pique, as well as targeting his new lover Clara Chia, claiming the ex-defender had traded a Ferrari for a Twingo and a Rolex for a Casio. Lyrics also included: ‘I’m too good for you – and that’s why you’re with someone just like you.’

To add insult to injury, she won the Latin Grammy for Best Pop Song, with the award handed out by Pique’s former Spanish team-mate Sergio Ramos, with the pair forming a formidable partnership as La Roja won the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euros.

Ramos then posed with his arm around Shakira which led to the singer’s lawyer claiming she would have saved herself ‘more than £100m’ if she had fallen in love with the former Real Madrid star instead of Pique, after she agreed to pay a £6.4m fine to settle a tax fraud case in Spain.

One of the more active players post-retirement, Pique also pioneered a new football tournament called the King’s League, fusing the worlds of professional football and Twitch streaming with the likes of Sergio Aguero involved in the project.  

Gerard Pique was married to Shakira for 11 years

The couple split in 2022 - the same year he lfet Barcelona

Former defender Gerard Pique and Shakira split in 2022 with the singer sending jibes his way in the aftermath

The 36-year-old retired earlier this season, whilst being coached by his former team-mate Xavi

The 36-year-old retired earlier this season, whilst being coached by his former team-mate Xavi

(Bottom to top) Gerard Pique, Dani Alves and Carles Puyol saw unlimited success at Barca

(Bottom to top) Gerard Pique, Dani Alves and Carles Puyol saw unlimited success at Barca

Left back – Eric Abidal 

The story of Eric Abidal’s battle against cancer while on the books at Barca is well-documented, with the likes of Puyol and Alves claiming it was a unifying factor in their dominant period. 

The Frenchman was a crucial facet to Guardiola’s side, and was again pivotal at Wembley in 2011, and since retirement moved upstairs first at Barcelona as a director before leaving in 2020 in the wake of Barca’s hefty defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, losing 8-2. 

In 2021 though he split from wife Hayet Kebir after it was alleged to have had an affair with Barcelona Feminin player Kheira Hamraoui, later uncovered by investigators looking into the mysterious attack suffered by Hamraoui in 2021. 

Hamraoui’s legs were beaten after she was dragged out of a car with her team-mate Aminata Diallo. Hamraoui appealed to the media to respect her privacy after police discovered she was using a telephone SIM card registered in Abidal’s name on the night of the attack. 

Eric Abidal (centre right) was the first to lift the trophy at Wembley after recovering from illness to play the full 90 minutes in the final

Eric Abidal (centre right) was the first to lift the trophy at Wembley after recovering from illness to play the full 90 minutes in the final

The Frenchman later served as sporting director at the club between 2018 and 2020

The Frenchman later served as sporting director at the club between 2018 and 2020

Midfielders

Defensive midfield – Sergio Busquets 

The first prong of what is surely the best midfield trio in the history of the game, Sergio Busquets was the last of this side to still turn out for Barca, only leaving the club last summer for Inter Miami. 

The Spanish midfielder and Blaugrana captain spent 15 years at the Camp Nou, and helped Spain win the World Cup in 2010 alongside his midfield partners.

Now in the MLS, Busquets joins fellow Barca alumni Jordi Alba and the great Lionel Messi, he is joined by partner and mother of his two children Elena Galera, and he is still going strong at 35.

Sergio Busquets was the last member of the team to leave Barca, moving to Inter Miami last summer

Sergio Busquets was the last member of the team to leave Barca, moving to Inter Miami last summer

Central midfield – Xavi

Xavi Hernandez has leaved the dream, has he not? Spent almost his entire playing career at his boyhood club – the team he loves more than anything – won the World Cup for his ocuntry, and then been invited back to the Camp Nou as manager. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

The iconic midfielder has found coaching a tough ask so far under the hefty pressure that Barcelona brings, and although he won the LaLiga title last term, he has already announced that he will be walking away from the dugout at the end of the campaign. 

The former skipper has been married to Núria Cunillera for over a decade, and the happy couple have two children; a daughter Asia and son Dan.  

Xavi won his first LaLiga title at the helm of Barcelona last season after returning as manager

Xavi won his first LaLiga title at the helm of Barcelona last season after returning as manager

Central midfield – Andres Iniesta 

There was a long time where Xavi and Andres Iniesta were like thunder and lightning; you never got one without the other. 

That all changed when Xavi left for Qatar in 2015, with Iniesta – with whom he played 486 times for club and country – joining Vissel Kobe in Japan three years later. 

The Spanish legend – who recently revealed his love of England and Man United icon Paul Scholes – joined United Arab Emirates side Emirates last year, and welcomed his fifth child with partner Anna Ortiz the same year. 

In 2011 he became the major shareholder in his former side Albacete, spending £359,000 (€420,000), before loaning an additional £205,000 (€240,000) to cover unpaid wages as the club faced administration. 

Andres Iniesta was the captain of Vissel Kobe but at the end of the season, the 39-year-old left the club for UAE

Andres Iniesta was the captain of Vissel Kobe but at the end of the season, the 39-year-old left the club for UAE

Xavi, Busquets and Iniesta would later win another Champions League title as the legendary midfield trio dominated Europe for a number of years (Pictured in 2015)

Xavi, Busquets and Iniesta would later win another Champions League title as the legendary midfield trio dominated Europe for a number of years (Pictured in 2015)

Forwards

Right wing – David Villa 

The scorer of the third goal in Barca’s Champions League final, the Spaniard had just two years left in Catalonia before leaving to spend a season at Atletico Madrid in 2013. His time at the Camp Nou was largely cut short by the lengthy recovery time the player had to endure after breaking his leg ahead of the 2011-12 campaign. 

In 2014, Villa was the first player signed to newly-created MLS side New York City, where he played until joining Vissel Kobe for a reunion with Iniesta in 2018. 

After retiring in 2020, Villa has reinvented himself as a sporting executive, investing in soon-to-be-launched USL side Queensboro FC and acquiring CF Benidorm under his DV7 Group. 

The group owns a string of international football academies as well as operating as a player agency, and Villa is also head of Global Football Operations at Indian Super League side Odisha FC. 

Iniesta was later joined in Japan by his Barcelona team-mate David Villa (pictured in 2020)

Iniesta was later joined in Japan by his Barcelona team-mate David Villa (pictured in 2020)

Pedro Rodriguez, Lionel Messi, and Villa (right to left) scored at Wembley in the Champions League final

Pedro Rodriguez, Lionel Messi, and Villa (right to left) scored at Wembley in the Champions League final

Striker/False nine – Lionel Messi 

What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about the man who scored the second goal of the night in 2011, Messi? Not a lot. A whole new position was invented just for him by a manager who can largely mold anyone into any player he needs. 

Messi has literally everything; eight Ballon d’Ors, a World Cup, 10 LaLigas, four Champions Leagues, three Club World Cups, the Copa America… that’s not event he half of it. Messi is the best player to have ever looked at a football, let alone kicked one. 

He now resides in Florida with Busquets at David Beckham’s Inter Miami side, where he still tantalises and tortures defenders in equal measure with his brilliance, and at 37 is still one of the best in the world at what he does. 

While he is also a well-documented philanthropist, he has also found himself on the wrong side of the law on occasion, notably picking up a 21-month suspended sentence and a £1.45m fine for tax evasion back in 2016. 

He and wife Antonella Rocuzzo have three sons who have all been relocated to Miami, Thiago Mateo and Ciro. 

Lionel Messi has won everything there is in the game and has since moved to the MLS and Inter Miami

Lionel Messi has won everything there is in the game and has since moved to the MLS and Inter Miami

Messi lifts the World Cup after Argentina beat France on penalties following a thrilling final at Lusail Stadium

Messi lifts the World Cup after Argentina beat France on penalties following a thrilling final at Lusail Stadium

Left wing – Pedro Rodriguez 

Last but by no means least is the opening goalscorer on that night in Wembley is Pedro Rodriguez, who would later play fast and loose with local rivalries in joining Lazio from Roma in 2021, where he remains to this day under former Blues boss Maurizio Sarri. 

He left Barca for Chelsea in 2015, accompanied by teenage sweetheart and accountant Carolina Martin Rodriguez, only for the pair to split before the winger was snapped kissing a new girlfriend in 2017. 

Three years later in 2020 before leaving for Roma, Pedro was spotted in a Barcelona nightclub with a new partner, the pair posing for snaps holding hands and smiling ear to ear later while on holiday together. 

Pedro is still on the books at Lazio despite being 36 years of age and has three goals this term in 33 appearances for the Roman outfit.  



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