2023 Laureus World Sports Awards: Messi, Mbappe among the nominees

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe will go head-to-head in pursuit of a trophy once more, as the pair are among the nominees for the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards.

The Laureus Awards are a highly-regarded ceremony held on behalf of the “Laureus Sport for Good” foundation. Every spring, they honour the world’s best athletes for their achievements in the previous calendar year via awards in eight categories.

Firstly, there is the Sportsman, Sportswoman, and Team of the Year categories. Then, Laureus has the Comeback and Breakthrough of the Year awards. These pay tribute to achievements through adversity and emerging stars respectively.

Additionally, the “Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability” category allows the sporting world to respect the best Paralympians. Finally, “action” athletes have their own category away from traditional sports. The “Sport for Good” Laureus award goes to the best initiative that gets young people active.

71 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy select the winner of each award. But who else will Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe be up against in the best Sportsman category?

Messi, Mbappe, Nadal up for Sportsman of the Year

Following their incredible 2022 performances, the PSG teammates are on the Sportsman of the Year shortlist. Of course, Messi’s 2022 finished with a storybook ending as he picked up an elusive World Cup win. However, that does not make the Argentine a lock to win his second Laureus award.

The Sportsman category for the 2023 Laureus World Sports Awards is absolutely stacked. Also nominated are tennis icon Rafael Nadal and pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis. Max Verstappen will hope to make it back-to-back Sportsman of the Year awards following his 2022 success, too.

NBA star Steph Curry rounds out the shortlist after picking up his fourth NBA title in 2022.

The swathes of incredible athletes do not stop at just this class, though.

2023 Laureus World Sports Awards: star-studded nominees list

Laureus’ Sportswoman of the Year list also has some big names. For instance, Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas received a nomination, as did tennis star Iga Swiatek. Katie Ledecky, one of the most dominant swimmers ever, provides stiff competition as well.

Elsewhere, England’s Lionesses earned a selection in the Team category. Here, they are up against Argentina’s men’s football team, Real Madrid, Red Bull Racing, the France Men’s rugby team, and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

Even the Comeback of the Year class has some iconic athletes. Leading this group is Tiger Woods, who earned a nod thanks to his resurgent 2022. Interestingly, the golfing legend is actually an inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards winner. He is a two-time World Sportsman of the Year, receiving the award in 2000 and 2001.

 Additionally, Christian Eriksen makes the list thanks to his remarkable return to top-level football.

According to Olympics.com, the Laureus will announce the World Sports Awards winners between March and May 2023. And, if you wanted to see all the 2023 nominees, they are available here.

Featured image credit: Getty