- Rafael Nadal feels that Lionel Messi deserves to receive the 2023 Laureus Global award
- Messi and Nadal are both nominees of the award this year
- Nadal admires Messi’s commitment to achieve his dreams
Rafael Nadal feels that Lionel Messi deserves to receive the 2023 Laureus Global Sportsman of the Year award.
Messi and Nadal are both nominees for the award this year. In justifying his support for Messi to win this award, Nadal says the Argentine team captain achieved so much in the past year.
Thus, he strongly feels that Messi will take the award home as much as he is a fellow nominee.
The ‘king of clay’ as he is popularly known took to his Instagram to support Messi, now playing for French Ligue 1 club, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
“An honour to be nominated again to the Laureus Sportsman of the Year…but…this year…vamos @leomessi te lo mereces tu [Come on Lionel Messi you deserve it],” wrote Nadal on Instagram.
Referencing the 2022 FIFA World Cup Finals between Argentina and France, Nadal says the expression in Messi’s eyes when he scored spoke of his commitment to fulfilling his dreams.
The Spaniard tennis star shed a tear when Messi scored a third goal against France. He was moved by the feeling of seeing Messi achieve what he always dreamt of for over 20 years.
The Laureus Global Sportsman of the Year award is one of the most prestigious awards in the world of sports.
Every year, a male and female athlete respectively who made significant performances and left a mark of positivity in the sporting world gets the Laures award.
The award’s history dates back to 1999 courtesy of a clique of sports lovers led by the late South African president Nelson Mandela.
The logic behind the award is to honour the greatest performances by men and women who through sports, promote social change and development.
A panel of judges chooses the winner of the awards from a nominee shortlist done by journalists.
Usain Bolt, Roger Federer, Michael Schumacher, and Tiger Woods are some of the Laureus Global Sportsman of the Year award recipients. They are among athletes whose sporting life has triggered social change and sports development across the world.
Meanwhile, the sporting world is still in anticipation of Nadal’s return to ATP Tour after his early exit at the Australian Open over a hip injury.
The loss left him mentally wrecked. The left hip issue that plagued the Spaniard earlier on contributed to his 6-4 6-3 7-5 loss against American Mackenzie McDonald.
Nadal claimed that although the injury was there before the game, the discomfort was so painful on that day more than any other day before the match.
His team at the time said that he would only be out for at least eight weeks to heal properly.
He postponed a planned exhibition match against Carlos Alcaraz which threw his ATP return to a spin.
The exhibition match was slated for March 5 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas but he is sitting out to fully recover.
“I am very sad for not being able to come to Vegas and play in this amazing event with Carlos at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Unfortunately, the timing of my recovery doesn’t make it possible to be there ready to play,” Tennis 365 cites.
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