Yes, apparently there is a sporting award Leo Messi has been nominated for and never won.
Despite having been nominated four previous times for the Laureus Award for Best Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year (which is one Laureus among five other categories), Messi’s never walked away with the prize.
Of course, it’s pretty hard to convince the Academy members you’re the greatest sportsman in the world when you compete in a team discipline. Every previous winner has been a lone competitor, the likes of sprinter Usain Bolt, tennis player Novak Djokovic and racing driver Michael Schumacher have all been recipients. (The less said of Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pistorius the better, but thankfully for the former winners, there is a Comeback of the Year Award…)
Messi has received two awards from the Laureus panel with his all-conquering club FC Barcelona, which collected the Spirit of Sport Award in 2007 and the Team of the Year in 2012, but he’ll be hoping to take home the individual award in this year’s ceremony held in Berlin.
The five time Ballon d’Or winner probably feels much like Leonardo DiCaprio did a couple of weeks ago when Messi’s fellow Leo was waiting anxiously to be inducted into the pantheon of acting greats, except Messi doesn’t need a hunk of gold to confirm his status or have a grizzly bear rip him to shreds.
This year facing Leo for the Sportsman of the Year Award are Bolt, basketball phenomenon Stephen Curry, racket-wielding Novak Djokovic, baseball-cap-wearing Lewis Hamilton and baseball-cap-with-hole-in-the-middle-wearing Jordan Spieth.
It sounds like a fantasy line up, but imagine going to dinner with those guys. Their egos are only surpassed by their wallets, whereas Leo is genuinely a modest chap and chose to focus on the team while acknowledging his own position too.
“It is an honor and a source of pride to once again be nominated for Sportsman of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards,” he said. “As a team, we had an excellent 2015, achieving many of the goals we set out for ourselves. This nomination, both individually and for the team, gives extra motivation to all of us to keep working hard every day and to achieve even more.”
No footballer has ever won the big one in the award’s 16-year history, so is Leo set to break yet another record?