Lionel Messi won the World Sportsman of the Year Award at the Laureus Sports Awards 2023 held in Paris. He also collected another award as part of Team of the Year for Argentina’s victory at the FIFA World Cup last year. Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the Sportswoman of the Year award on her sixth nomination.
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This is Messi’s second individual title after sharing the honour with Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton in 2020. He also became the first athlete to win the individual and team awards in the same year.
“I was looking at the names of the incredible legends that won the Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award before me: Schumacher, Woods, Nadal, Federer, Bolt, Hamilton, Djokovic… it really sunk in what unbelievable company I’m in and what a unique honour this is,” the Argentine said.
Fraser-Pryce’s exploits last year included winning the 100-meter gold at the World Athletics Championships for a staggering fifth time. She has won three Olympic and 10 world championship gold medals. Fraser-Pryce called her award “one of the greatest honours of my career.”
- Tennis player Carlos Alcaraz won the US Open last year as a teenager and climbed to the top of the ranks. He was honoured with the Breakthrough of the Year award.
- The Sport for Good Award was presented to TeamUp – a programme for children displaced by war – by Barcelona and Poland star Robert Lewandowski.
- Meanwhile, Chinese-American Olympic ski freestyle champion Eileen Gu won the World Action Sportsperson accolade.
- Denmark and Manchester United star Christian Eriksen earned a Comeback Award. He returned to the top of the European game after collapsing with cardiac arrest during the Euros two years ago.
- Swiss para-athlete sensation Catherine Debrunner meanwhile picked up the Disability Award after triumphing in her opening two marathons
The Laureus World Sports Awards were held in person in Paris for the first time since 2020. They were held virtually on account of the coronavirus pandemic.