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Historic: Messi wins Laureus Sportsman of the Year

Messi makes history, wins Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award

February 18, 2020 By Ali M.
The Argentine shared the prize with Formula 1 super Lewis Hamilton and set two records.

Just over two months after winning a historic sixth Ballon d'Or title, Lionel Messi has added another prestigious individual accolade to his cabinet. The Argentine was the recipient of the Laureus Sportsman of the Year prize, setting two records along the way.

This win was memorable for two reasons. Firstly, the Argentine superstar shared this prize with Formula 1 legend Lewis Hamilton after racking up an equal number of votes from the Laureus Academy which consists of sports icons. This had never happened before, with the pair beating out Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Marc Marquez, and Eliud Kipchoge to the top spot.

Additionally, this was also the first time in history that a footballer was named the winner of the Laureus Sportsman of the Year prize, clinching this title after winning a 10th La Liga title. The Argentine legend was not present at Monday's gala but expressed his gratitude for winning this award.

"I apologize I was not able to come to the event tonight," the South American legend said.

"I really wanted to be there but unfortunately I could not make it.

"I would like to thank the Academy for giving me this recognition.

"The truth is that this is a very special award and I am honored to be the first to win this from a team sport. Thank you very much."

Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, was present and was handed his prize by Arsene Wenger. The recipient of the Sportswoman of the Year accolade was also revealed, with that honor going to 22-year-old gymnastics sensation Simone Biles for the third time.

Messi is gearing up for a crucial 12 days of football that will see his Barcelona side play Eibar in the league, Napoli in Europe, and Real Madrid in La Liga. The 32-year-old was the top scorer in Spain, the Champions League, and Europe altogether last season but has failed to net in his last four Liga matches.

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