Lionel Messi, along with his victorious Argentina World Cup team, achieved an exceptional feat by claiming both the Sportsman and Team of the Year titles at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards.
Messi, who captained Argentina, showcased his exceptional talent by scoring seven goals and earning the Golden Ball as Argentina triumphed in the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar last December. Remarkably, he became the first athlete to win both the individual and team awards in the same year.
Meanwhile, Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was honored as the Sportswoman of the Year. Fraser-Pryce clinched the women’s 100m world title at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in July, making history as the first person to secure five gold medals in an individual track event at the championships.
Expressing his gratitude, Paris St-Germain forward Messi, aged 35, remarked, “This is a special honor, particularly as the Laureus World Sports Awards are being held in Paris this year, the city that has welcomed my family since we arrived here in 2021. I want to thank all my teammates, not only from the national team but also at PSG. I have achieved none of this alone, and I am grateful to be able to share everything with them.”
Fraser-Pryce Secures Historic Win with 100m Gold, Argentina World Cup Team and Other Athletes Honored at Laureus Awards
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s remarkable achievement in winning the 100m gold, thirteen years after her first title, was recognized at the Laureus World Sports Awards. The 36-year-old sprinter now holds the record for the most world sprint titles by any athlete.
In an outstanding display of speed, Fraser-Pryce clocked sub-10.7-second times in the 100m event seven times throughout 2022, surpassing the previous record for a female sprinter in a single calendar year by three occurrences. Expressing her joy, she said, “I was thrilled to be nominated alongside such inspiring women athletes, and to win this award, voted for by some of the greatest sportsmen and women of all time, is just amazing. This is the sixth time I’ve been nominated in this category, so to finally hold the Laureus statuette in my hands is one of the greatest honors of my career.”
Additionally, Argentina’s national football team secured their third World Cup title, triumphing in a memorable final against France that ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw and was ultimately decided by a penalty shootout in Doha. Their exceptional performance earned them the Team of the Year award, surpassing tough competition from England’s Euro 2022-winning Lionesses, men’s Champions League winners Real Madrid, and France’s men’s Six Nations champions.
Other notable winners at the Laureus Awards included Christian Eriksen, the Manchester United and Denmark midfielder, who received the Comeback of the Year award for his remarkable return to football after experiencing cardiac arrest on the pitch during Euro 2020. Additionally, Carlos Alcaraz, the 19-year-old tennis prodigy, was honored with the World Breakthrough of the Year award after his stellar 2022 season, which included winning the US Open and becoming the youngest men’s number one in tennis.
The Laureus Academy, composed of esteemed sporting figures, voted to determine the award winners at the ceremony.