2023 winner Lionel Messi nominated again for Laureus World Sportsman of Year Award


PTI, Feb 26, 2024, 8:44 PM IST

Lionel Messi (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Madrid: Superstar footballer Lionel Messi was on Monday nominated for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award, as he returned to the shortlist after winning the coveted honour last year.

The Argentine captain, who lifted the World Cup trophy in 2022, won his record eighth Ballon d’Or in 2023 and led Major League Soccer side Inter Miami to victory in the Leagues Cup for his 44th trophy, another record.

The 25th Laureus World Sports Awards will be held here on April 22.

Messi will face competition from Manchester City’s prolific striker Erling Haaland (Norway), tennis superstar Novak Djokovic (Serbia), world record holder pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis (Sweden), world champion sprinter Noah Lyles (USA) and Formula One star Max Verstappen (Netherlands).

Djokovic, who has won the Award four times earlier, clinched three Grand Slam titles — Australian Open, French Open and US Open — in 2023 to move to 24 major titles, matching Margaret Court for the all-time mark in tennis.

Verstappen, who won this Award in 2022, set records last year with 10 consecutive Grand Prix wins and 19 victories in one season as he became the fifth Formula One driver to record a hat-trick of championship wins.

Duplantis raised his own pole vault world record on two further occasions, either side of a second world title.

No sprinter had swept the board at a World Championship since Usain Bolt in 2015, until Noah Lyles took gold in the 100, 200 and 4×100 metres relay.

Haaland scored 52 goals as Manchester City won the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup.

Three of the nominees for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award starred at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest last year.

Faith Kipyegon of Kenya became the first woman to win the double of 1,500 and 5,000m. American Sha’Carri Richardson won a classic 100m from lane nine in her first global final and added 4x100m gold.

Shericka Jackson’s winning time of 21.41 seconds in 200m was the second fastest all-time, seven hundredths of a second short of Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 35-year-old mark.

In tennis, Poland’s Iga Świątek won her third French Open title in 2023, and regained her No.1 spot in the world rankings with victory at the WTA Finals in Cancun.

The footballer of the year was Aitana Bonmatí: she won the World Cup — and the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best player — with Spain, Liga F and the UEFA Women’s Champions League with FC Barcelona Femeni plus the Ballon d’Or. Finally, 2023 was the year Alpine Skier Mikaela Shiffrin passed the all-time mark of 86 World Cup wins set by Ingemar Stenmark, and the American also won her seventh World Championship gold in giant slalom.

Star American gymnast Simone Biles was named as one of the six nominees for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award. After a two-year absence, she returned to win four World Championship golds.

The nominees were selected by 1,300 members of the Laureus Global Media Panel.

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