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Lionel Messi wins Laureus Sportsman of the Year 2023 award

Lionel Messi wins Laureus Sportsman of the Year 2023 award

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi has been voted Sportsman of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards held in Paris.

The 35-year-old piped a star-studded shortlist, including PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe to the accolade after guiding Argentina to the 2022 World Cup triumph in Qatar with seven goals and three assists.

Dutch-Belgian Formula One world champion Max Verstappen and Spanish professional tennis legend Rafael Nadal were also shortlisted for the award.

Messi also received the Team of the Year award on behalf of his country Argentina, who beat France on penalties in last year’s showpiece event to claim football’s holy grail.

“This is a special honour,” Messi said (via The Athletic). “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.

“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.”

Messi became the first football player to win the award in 2020, and with another individual accolade in the bag, he remains the only footballer to achieve the feat.

The Argentina international received the award just hours after it was confirmed that he had returned to PSG after serving a suspension following an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s long-term future at Parc des Princes has been subject to plenty of speculation, with talks over a new deal not progressing.

However, the Argentine forward is not short on potential suitors, with former club Barcelona pulling out all the stops to re-sign him while rumour has it he has accepted an offer from Saudi-based Al-Hilal.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won the 100 metres gold medal at the World Athletics Championships, won the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award.

Manchester United and Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen also won a special comeback award after surviving a cardiac arrest and returning to football.

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