Lionel Messi, Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain, was named Laureus Sportsman of the Year, while sprint champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took home the top women’s prize at the awards ceremony.
Messi received an award on behalf of Argentina’s men’s football team, which was awarded World Team of the Year following their victory in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The 35-year-old PSG forward has already won the accolade, which he shared with Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton in 2020.
Messi also became the first athlete to be named World Sportsman of the Year and World Team of the Year in the same year.
“When I saw the names of the incredible legends who had won the Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award before me: Schumacher, Woods, Nadal, Federer, Bolt, Hamilton, Djokovic… it really sunk in what incredible company I’m in and what a unique honour this is,” Messi remarked.
Individuals for the Laureus World Sports Awards are chosen by the global media, while the winners are decided by the 71 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy. Since their creation in 2000, the awards have been given out on a yearly basis.