Argentina and Paris Saint Germain veteran star, Lionel Messi has been named sportsman of the year at the Laureus World Sports Awards.
Messi, 35, finally landed a first World Cup winners medal in Qatar last December after a thrilling penalty shootout final win over France enough to earn him an individual accolade while the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner also accepted the team award at a prestigious Paris ceremony.
However, Lionel Messi is the first ever athlete to win the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year and Laureus World Team of the Year Awards in the same year.
The Argentine, who attended the ceremony with wife Antonela Roccuzzo, previously had won the award jointly with British Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton in 2020.
The accolade saw Messi, who earned a fine and suspension from PSG for making an unauthorised promotional visit to Saudi Arabia, see off competition notably from clubmate Kylian Mbappé, whose World Cup final hattrick was not enough to earn him glory in Qatar.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is the 2023 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.
Fraser-Pryce earned Sportswoman of the Year for the first time in her sixth nomination. The 36-year-old mom is coming off the best year of her career, having broken 10.70 seconds in the 100m a record seven times for one year, including winning the world title.
Fraser-Pryce is the second consecutive Jamaican sprinter to win the award after Elaine Thompson-Herah.