The star Lionel Messi arrived this past Monday at noon with his wife Antonela Roccuzzo to the luxurious Pavillon Vendome, in the center of Paris, where the gala of the Laureus awards, the Oscars of sport, will be held from 16:00 (Argentine time). The Rosario, in an elegant black ambo with a tone bun, is the main candidate to stay with the award for the athlete of 2022, after having conquered the World Cup in Qatar with the Argentine National Team.
Photo: AP/Lewis Joly.
For his part, Roccuzzo chose an oriental style in his hairstyle, with a long braid and a long dress in composé with the Paris Saint Germain footballer, who hours before had returned to the training of his club after the pardon by the leadership after a week convulsed by his trip to Saudi Arabia without authorization, which resulted in an absence to a practice.
What are Laureus Awards?
The Laureus World Sports Awards are annual awards given by the Laureus World Sports Academy to the best athletes in the world for their merits earned a year earlier.
After two editions without a face-to-face gala due to the pandemic, the considered Oscars of Sport will deliver their awards divided into eight categories.
Messi will opt for the best sportsman of the year award after leading Argentina to the world title.
The Argentine, 35, will have as opponents his teammate in the PSG Kylian Mbappé, runner-up of the world in Qatar 2022, and the Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal, who after winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros in 2022 added 22 victories of "Grand Slam".
Nadal, 36, has not competed for more than three months because of his physical problems and his presence at Roland Garros, which begins in three weeks, is unknown.
The list of candidates for best athlete in the male category is completed by the Dutchman Max Verstappen, two-time Formula 1 world champion; Sweden's Mondo Duplantis, world record holder in pole vault; and American Stephen Curry, MVP of the NBA finals.
Messi, 35, won the award only once, although it was shared with British Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton. Therefore, on this occasion, it could be the first in which he stays alone with the prize that has among the most winners the Swiss tennis player Roger Federer (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2018).
"He inspired Argentina to glory in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and continues to raise the bar in football," argued the Laureus Academy to justify the choice of Rosario.
The nominees for the Laureus Awards – which have been held since 2000 – were determined through a vote by sports media around the world, although the winners will be chosen by a panel of 71 members of the greatest legends of the sport of all time, and announced during the second quarter of this year.
Among them, there are only two Argentines: former rugby player Hugo Porta, who is considered the best Argentine player of this sport in history and integrates the World Rugby Hall of Fame; and former Leona Luciana 'Lucha' Aymar, world field hockey star and the only eight-time recipient of the International Federation (FIH) award for player of the year.
In the female branch, meanwhile, those who will aspire to the top prize will be the Polish tennis player Iga Swiatek, the Spanish soccer player Alexia Putellas, the American swimmer Katie Ledecky, the American skier Mikaela Shiffrin, the Jamaican athlete Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and her American colleague Sydney Mclaughlin Levrone.
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The Argentine football team was not left aside from the nominations and was included in the category of 'Best Team of the Year', after the conquest of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Those joining her in the voting are the England women's national football team, the Real Madrid men's team of Spain, the French men's rugby union team, the Golden State Warriors of the NBA, and the Red Bull team of Formula 1.
In addition, among the revelations of 2022, there is the Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz, who this Sunday plays the final of the Masters 1000 in Madrid, who will fight with the Kazakh tennis player Elena Rybakina, the Moroccan men's soccer team, the American skater Nathan Chen, the American golfer Scottie Scheffler, and the Nigerian athlete Tobi Amusan.