Tennis legend Rafael Nadal feels that Lionel Messi, who won the World Cup in Qatar, is a worthy claimant of the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award. Messi is among the nominees for this year’s Laureus Award along with Nadal.
Nadal, who has won a record 22 Grand Slams, wrote on Instagram, “I am honored to be nominated again for the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award. But this year, Messi, you deserve it.’
In the last Australian Open, Nadal had a great year in 2022 even though he was eliminated before the title stage due to injury. Won four major trophies, including the Australian Open and the French Open. Still, Nadal thinks Messi should win the prestigious award this year.
Messi also gave a beautiful response to Nadal’s praise. Said, ‘The message of a legendary player like him has left me speechless. Thank you Rafa Nadal. You deserve it for the way you competed. You are a winner, and we have a lot of competition for the prize. All the nominees this year deserve the award.
Messi brought Argentina the World Cup after 36 years. He has three assists along with seven goals in Qatar. Won the best player award Golden Ball.
The Laureus Sports for Good Foundation awards in seven categories to honor the hard work of athletes across all disciplines over the past year. The categories are Sportsman of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year, Breakthrough of the Year, Team of the Year, Sports for Good, Sportsperson with a Disability and Comeback of the Year. The Laureus World Sports Awards have been given since 2000 on the basis of individual and team contributions to sports. This award has been given for the past 22 years by a foundation called ‘Laureus Sports for Good’, a joint venture between the German automobile company Deilmer and the Swiss luxury goods holding company.
Apart from Messi, Nadal, PSG star Kylian Mbappe has been nominated for the ‘Laureus’ award for the best sportsman. He scored a hat-trick in the Qatar World Cup final but failed to win the title. But he is in a great streak of goals. Apart from this, Formula One’s Max Verstappen, NBA Finals Man of the Match Stephen Curry have been nominated.