Lionel Messi and Argentina Win 2023 Laureus World Sports Awards

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Lionel Messi was voted Sportsman of the Year at the 2023 Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony in Paris. The Argentine footballer received the prestigious honor for his outstanding efforts on the field during the last year, which included leading Argentina to World Cup glory.

Messi was nominated along with Kylian Mbappe, Rafael Nadal, Stephen Curry, Mondo Duplantis, and Max Verstappen. The prize was given to the forward of Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi’s latest achievement came on the heels of Argentina’s first FIFA World Cup title since 1986. The forward guided his team to World Cup victory, scoring critical goals and assisting teammates throughout the tournament.

With the victory, the Argentine becomes the first player in history to win two Laureus Awards. Messi previously won the Sportsman of the Year award in a ceremony held in Berlin in 2020. The honor was shared by the Argentine and Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton, who received the same amount of votes.

Lionel Messi accepted the prize and spoke about his World Cup adventure before dedicating the honor to the people of Argentina.

For me to be at this gala, it’s my first time here. It’s an honor for me to share a nomination with all these enormous athletes whom I greatly admire, anyone could have won. “It is always nice to receive recognition of this type, this year I was lucky to fulfill my great dream, to be world champion, it cost me a lot, almost my entire career, in between I went through everything, many joys with Barcelona and many sadness with the national teambut I never stopped, and everything was a lesson for me.

“There were many obstacles along the way but I always tried to improve myself, with the support of my people. I am very grateful: I was able to fulfill my dream and that of an entire country. It took time to arrive but it was the most beautiful thing that happened to me; this award goes to all of Argentina. Thank you very much”, Messi said in his speech.

Apart from personal honors, Messi accepted the Team of the Year award on behalf of Argentina, which overcame France on penalties in last year’s FIFA World Cup final.

In addition, the 35-year-old became the first athlete in history to win both the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year and the Laureus World Team of the Year Awards in the same year.

Full List of Winners

Sportsman of the Year

  • Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football
  • Steph Curry (USA) Basketball
  • Mondo Duplantis (Sweden) Athletics
  • Kylian Mbappé (France) Football
  • Rafael Nadal (Spain) Tennis
  • Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Motor Racing

Sportswoman of the Year

  • Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Athletics
  • Katie Ledecky (USA) Swimming
  • Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone (USA) Athletics
  • Alexia Putellas (Spain) Football
  • Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) Alpine Skiing
  • Iga Świątek (Poland) Tennis

Team of the Year

  • Argentina Men’s Football Team
  • England Women’s Football Team
  • France Men’s Rugby Team
  • Golden State Warriors (USA) Basketball
  • Real Madrid (Spain) Football
  • Oracle Red Bull Racing (Austria)

Breakthrough of The Year

  • Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) Tennis
  • Tobi Amusan (Nigeria) Athletics
  • Nathan Chen (USA) Figure Skating
  • Morocco Men’s Football Team
  • Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan) Tennis
  • Scottie Scheffler (USA) Golf

Comeback of The Year

  • Francesco Bagnaia (Italy) Motor Cycling
  • Christian Eriksen (Denmark) Football
  • Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Norway) Athletics
  • Klay Thompson (USA) Basketball
  • Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) Cycling
  • Tiger Woods (USA) Golf
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