It is the battle of the titans on Friday night as the Laureus World Sports Awards marks its 20th anniversary.
Lionel Messi, Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Lewis Hamilton, Eliud Kipchoge and Marc Marquez will go head-to-head for the Sportsman of the Year prize at a glitzy gala in Berlin.
Celebrating sporting achievement for 2019, it’s almost impossible to separate these deserving heavyweights.
While Messi, one of the greatest footballers of all-time, landed his sixth Ballon d’Or starring for Barcelona, Spaniard Nadal won both the French and US Open trophies to win his 18th and 19th Grand Slams.
Woods pulled off a remarkable comeback to click The Masters, Hamilton won his sixth F1 title, Marquez won his fourth consecutive Moto GP championship and Kipchoge extraordinarily became the first person to run a marathon in less than two hours.
Megan Rapinoe, star of last year’s Women’s World Cup, has been nominated for the Sportswoman of the Year title.
Simone Biles, who broke the gymnastics world medals record, scooping five, is also in the running along with fellow Americans skier Mikaela Shiffrin and sprinter Allyson Felix.
Tennis player Naomi Osaka of Japan and Jamaican runner Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce have also been nominated.
It’s not just individuals being recognised, at the special ceremony, oh no.
Champions League winners and world champions Liverpool could land another two awards having been nominated for Team of the Year after beating Tottenham to lift the famous trophy and Comeback of the Year after their stunning 4-0 victory to knockout Barcelona.
ð Lewis Hamilton ð¬ð§
ð°ðª Eliud Kipchoge ðââï¸
ð¾ Rafael Nadal ðªð¸
ð¦ð· Lionel Messi â½ï¸
ð Marc Marquez ðªð¸
ðºð¸ Tiger Woods â³ï¸
ð¥ #Laureus20 Sportsman of the Year ð¥
Elsewhere in the Team of the Year category are South Africa, winners of the Rugby World Cup, Mercedes, who won a sixth consecutive constructors’ title and the US Women’s World Cup winners. The Toronto Raptors, NBA Finals winners in 2019 and Spain, who clinched gold in the Basketball World Cup complete the six names.
Andy Murray, who fought back from a serious hip injury to win the European Open in Antwerp, is up for the comeback award as is Australian rugby player Christian Lealiffano, who got back out onto the pitch after battling leukaemia.
Race driver Sophia Floersch, of Germany, also showed incredible determination to get back behind the wheel having suffered a spinal fracture while competing.
The last twelve months also saw the arrival of new stars.
Teenage tennis icon Coco Gauff, who claimed her biggest scalp against Venus Williams at the age of just 15, will go up against heavyweight boxer and Anthony Joshua defeater Andy Ruiz for the Breakthrough of the Year award.
The ceremony is a global and annual event and has previously taken place in Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi, Lisbon, Monaco, Saint Petersburg, Barcelona and London.
Supporting more than 160 sports-based community programmes in over 40 countries, the Laureus Sport for Good helps children and young people across the world and was founded under the Patronage of Nelson Mandela.
The former President of South Africa said at the first awards ceremony in 2000 that “sport has the power to the change the world” and since Laureus have been dedicated to using sport as a tool to help youngsters overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantage in their lives.