Barcelona legend Sergio Busquets has announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season. Busquets made over 700 appearances for the Catalan club and won the Champions League three times and La Liga on eight occasions.
Kevin de Bruyne’s second-half strike helped Manchester City hold Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw in their Uefa Champions League semi-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
South Africa qualified for the ICC men’s cricket World Cup to be held later this year after the first ODI between Ireland and Bangladesh was washed out. Ireland needed to win the series 3-0 to leapfrog eighth-placed South Africa in the World Cup Super League and secure direct qualification to the World Cup.
Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 10 May, 2023:
Busquets to leave Barcelona
Sergio Busquets will leave Barcelona in June at the end of his contract, the midfielder confirmed Wednesday, ending a highly successful era at the club.
“The moment has arrived to announce this is my last season at Barcelona,” said Busquets on Instagram.
“It has been an unforgettable journey.”
Busquets has won the Champions League three times with Barcelona and La Liga on eight occasions before this season, with the Catalans set to triumph again for the first time in four years.
The 34-year-old has been a key player for Barca since breaking into the first team under their former coach Pep Guardiola in 2008, making over 700 appearances to date.
He did not say where he might go next, with Spanish reports suggesting he may move to a team in Saudi Arabia.
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez, who played with Busquets in the team’s midfield for several years, wanted the midfielder to stay next season, but said the decision was up to him.
The veteran has long been thought to favour a move to Major League Soccer in the United States at the end of his Barcelona contract, with Inter Miami one of the teams mentioned.
However in recent days the player has been linked in Spanish media with a move to the Saudi Arabian top flight.
Former Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, a close friend of Busquets, is another player who may end up in the oil-rich kingdom after sources close to negotiations told AFP it was a “done deal” for the Argentine forward to move to the Middle East.
De Bruyne rocket helps Man City draw vs Madrid
Kevin De Bruyne’s brilliant drive earned Manchester City a 1-1 draw at Real Madrid in a gripping Champions League semi-final first leg battle on Tuesday.
The Belgian slammed Pep Guardiola’s visitors level after Vinicius Junior opened the scoring for the reigning champions from distance in similarly spectacular fashion.
Madrid managed to completely shackle lethal striker Erling Haaland but De Bruyne’s powerful effort left the tie on a knife edge ahead of the second leg in Manchester next week.
The record 14-time winners knocked City out at the same stage last season despite being outplayed in both games, and took the lead at the Santiago Bernabeu against the run of play.
However when Madrid found their stride in the second half, City – still chasing their first ever Champions League trophy – hit back through De Bruyne.
Madrid central defenders David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger did not give Haaland room to breathe.
The visitors controlled much of the first half, with nearly 70 percent possession, but went in trailing at the break.
Thibaut Courtois fielded an early barrage of shots from De Bruyne, Rodri and Haaland, as City dominated and Madrid sat back, soaking up the pressure.
The hosts took the lead through a lethal counter-attack 10 minutes before the break, with Eduardo Camavinga surging past Bernardo Silva, tearing into space and feeding Vinicius.
The Brazilian arrowed a strike into the top left corner from almost 25 yards, past Ederson’s helpless dive. It was Madrid’s only shot in the first half, but the game’s most effective one.
Alaba thwarted Haaland with a fine block early in the second half, as Madrid kept the Norwegian goal machine under lock and key on his first appearance against them.
Madrid did not allow him a clear sight of goal, ensuring he could not add to his 51 goals from 46 games this season across all competitions.
Rudiger, who played ahead of the suspended Eder Militao, put in one of the best performances of his Madrid career.
Madrid’s pressing was greatly improved after the break and they pinned City back at times, showing far more initiative than they offered at the start.
However with Los Blancos ascendent, City sucker-punched them, just as Madrid did to the Premier League leaders in the first half.
De Bruyne slammed the visitors level with a shot from the same range as Vinicius’s opener, at the same end, hammered low past Courtois.
The second leg takes place on May 17, with the winner facing Inter Milan or AC Milan in the final.
SA qualify for ODI World Cup after Ireland-Bangladesh washout
South Africa secured direct qualification on Tuesday for the 50-over Cricket World Cup in India later this year after the first one-day international between Ireland and Bangladesh ended in a no-result washout.
Ireland had to win all three matches in a series against Bangladesh taking place at Chelmsford, the headquarters of English county Essex, if they were to move up from 11th place in the points table.
Even if Ireland now take the series 2-0, they cannot surpass South Africa in eighth place in the World Cup Super League standings.
Ireland will now have to compete in the June 18-July 9 qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe, that also includes former champions West Indies and Sri Lanka.
The Irish were 65-3 in the 17th over, chasing Bangladesh’s 246-9, made from a full 50 overs, when bad light and rain halted play at 4:34pm local time (1534 GMT).
A minimum of 20 overs had to be bowled in Ireland’s innings for a result to be declared under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method for rain-affected matches.
But the fixture was called off at 1800 GMT when the umpires deemed conditions too wet to restart play.
The first spots in the 10-team World Cup go to the top eight finishers of the WCSL, a competition that has run over the last three years.
Reigning champions England, India, New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan have already guaranteed their places.
Dani Alves denied bail
A Spanish judge on Tuesday denied Brazil defender Dani Alves’s second bail request while the footballer awaits trial for alleged rape.
The 40-year-old was detained in January after he was accused of raping a young woman in the bathroom of a Barcelona nightclub late last year.
The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star will remain in custody after the court investigating him said there was a “high risk” he would try to flee.
It “rejected the request for release made by the defence”, the High Court of Justice of Catalonia said Tuesday.
It said his wealth “could allow him to leave Spain at any time”.
This was the second time Alves’s legal team have pushed for his release after their first request was turned down in February.
His lawyers asked for bail again in April, shortly after he addressed the judge at a hearing where he said the pair had sexual relations but claimed they were consensual.
Alves’s legal team proposed revoking his two passports, Brazilian and Spanish, to reassure the judge he could be granted bail this time – but the request was rejected.
With text inputs from AFP
Updated through the day