The Argentine humbly expressed his appreciation after being awarded with the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year prize.
Lionel Messi’s joy was palpable as he accepted the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award in Paris – an honor he described as a ‘special honor’. His winning moment marked yet another trophy for his already overwhelming collection.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward won the accolade after leading Argentina to 2022 World Cup glory in Qatar, where he also collected the Golden Ball as the competition’s best player.
🏆 Lionel Messi is the 2023 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year.
— Laureus (@LaureusSport) May 8, 2023
“This is a special honor, particularly as the Laureus World Sports Awards are in Paris this year, the city that has welcomed my family since we came here in 2021,” Messi said in his acceptance speech on Monday.
“I want to thank all my teammates. Not only from the national team but also at PSG – I have achieved none of this alone. I’m grateful to be able to share everything with them.
“I want to thank the Laureus Academy – what makes these Awards so special to us as athletes is the fact that they are voted for by these incredible champions, my heroes, and this puts my sporting achievements in true context.
“This is the first time I have been the sole winner of the Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award. After a year when we finally won another prize we had been chasing for a long time, at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, it’s an honor to be able to hold this Laureus Statuette.”
Messi previously shared the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year with seven-time Formula One champion Lews Hamilton in 2020. He also collected an award for the Argentina national team – the Laureus Award for Team of the Year.
Elsewhere in football, Christian Eriksen won Comeback of the Year. The Manchester United midfielder earned worldwide plaudits for his return after collapsing in Euro 2020.
World Sportswoman of the Year went to Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Tennis world number two Carlos Alcaraz bagged the World Breakthrough of the Year award.