Messi, Hamilton share Laureus' Sportsman of the Year award

Messi, Hamilton share Laureus' Sportsman of the Year award

BERLIN – Football star Lionel Messi and six-time Formula One winner Lewis Hamilton have both been awarded the title Sportsman of the Year for 2020 at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

The Argentinian football player and British Mercedes driver both won the same number of votes at the 20th round of the awards in Berlin on Monday evening.

The Laureus World Sports Awards are the only worldwide awards event to recognize the best athletes of the past year in various categories.

Hamilton was handed the award by former football trainer Arsene Wenger at a gala hosted at the Verti Music Hall.

He thanked the greats before him, saying, "I've been inspired by so many of you."

Hamilton added, "it's all of our responsibility to use our platform for really pushing for gender equality, inclusivity and making sure that we are engaging and trying to represent where the world is today."

Afterwards, Hamilton tweeted, "To think that my name is going to slot in alongside the legends, who have won this award before me, is really humbling."

Messi did not travel to Berlin for the prize and sent a message of thanks by video.

He tweeted, "I am honoured to be the first to win this award being a sportsperson coming from a team sport."

Among the more than 60 members of the Laureus Academy are former German sporting greats such as tennis player Boris Becker and figure skater Katarina Witt.

The event was moderated by British actor Hugh Grant.