Cristiano Ronaldo hopes to be second time lucky in his bid to become the first team player to win the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award.
The Real Madrid forward, who lost the same prize to motor racing superstar, Sebastian Vettel last year, is up against another Formula 1 driver, Lewis Hamilton, golfer, Rory McIlroy, ten-time Grand Slam winner, Novak Djokovic, World MotoGP champion, Marc Marquez and French pole vaulter, Renaud Lavillenie this term.
Achievements of the stellar lineup of nominees during the year 2014 were used as yardstick for selection following a ballot by the world’s media.
The winners will be decided by a voting process by the Laureus World Sports Academy- a collection of sports jury, made up of 48 notable sportsmen and sportswomen of all time- and unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony in Shanghai on Wednesday, 15 April.
“This is going to be yet another classic year,” Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy and Double Olympic champion, Edwin Moses, said. “Each year we think the list of nominees cannot get better, but then it does. The Sportsman of the Year and the Team of the Year categories look amazing.”
Two football teams are gunning for the Laureus Team of the Year gong in 2015. Reigning European champions Real Madrid FC and the German world Cup winners will battle for the award, joined by the European Ryder Cup Team (golf), which beat USA to record a third straight success last year, Mercedes Formula 1 Team, NBA franchise San Antonio Spurs and Switzerland Davis Cup Team, inspired by Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka to a first success also last year.
The Switzerland Davis Cup Team are also in contention for the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award, but must beat the likes of Marin Cilic, who won his first ever Grand Slam at the US Open in August, Mario Gotze, scorer of Germany’s winning goal at the Maracana World Cup final, James Rodriguez, world Cup top scorer and winner of three Grand Prix for Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo.
In the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year category, 19-time Grand Slam winner and America’s WTA No. 1 Serena Williams, retired Chinese tennis superstar, Li Na, and New Zealand’s shot put thrower, Valerie Adama headline the nominees. Others are Ethiopian athlete Genzebe Dibaba and Slovenia’s first ever gold medalist in the Winter Olympics Tina Maze and the most decorated Winter Olympic athlete Marit Bjorgen.
Springboks’ Schalk Burger, who overcame life-threatening bacterial meningitis to return to the South African Rugby Team and Italian footballer, Francesco Acerbi, who beat testicular cancer to return to the Serie A and the Azzurri are nominated for the Comeback of the Year award.
Click here for full list of nominees for the 2015 Laureus World Sports Award.