Football leads the way as Manchester City, Erling Haaland and England star Jude Bellingham are nominated for the 2024 Laureus Awards

MADRID, February 26, 2024 – Pep Guardiola’s treble-winning Manchester City team and their remarkable goalscorer Erling Haaland, along with England and Real Madrid’s award-winning young star Jude Bellingham, head the Nominations for the 25th Laureus World Sports Awards.

Announced in Madrid today, the list of Nominees is a glittering collection of some of the greatest stars in world sport, including Lionel Messi, Novak Djokovic, Max Verstappen, Simone Biles, Aitana Bonmatí, Mikaela Shiffrin, Faith Kipyegon and Siya Kolisi. The Winners of the Awards will be revealed in Madrid on April 22.

Six Nominees are selected in each of seven categories by a vote of the world’s media, 1,300 of the most celebrated journalists and broadcasters in the world. The Winners are then chosen in a secret ballot by the 69 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a unique collection of many of the greatest sporting legends, past and present.

Under coach Guardiola, in the 2022/23 season, Manchester City completed the treble of UEFA Champions League, beating Inter Milan 1-0 in the final, and both major domestic competitions, the Premier League and the FA Cup. It was City’s fifth Premier League title in six years. Guardiola has now won 14 major trophies since joining the club in 2016. They have been nominated for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award. 

Pep Guardiola said: “We are really proud for our club to have been nominated for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award. Of course we are nominated because we won so much last season and the credit must go to all our players, all our staff who worked so hard throughout the season to compete in England and across Europe. It is an honour to be included in such an illustrious list of teams who also achieved success at the elite level of sport last year.”

Norwegian striker Erling Haaland has proved to be an amazing goal machine for Manchester City. He scored 52 for the team in the season – 36 in the Premier League, 12 in the Champions League, three in the FA Cup and one in the Carabao Cup. His 36 goals were the most ever scored in a season since the Premier League was created in 1992, and he was named Premier League Player of the Year.

He has been nominated for Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, where he will be competing against last year’s Winner, the great Lionel Messi, world tennis No.1 Novak Djokovic, track and field athletes Noah Lyles and Mondo Duplantis and three-time Formula One world champion Max Verstappen.

Erling Haaland said: “Last year was a very special year for me and the whole team. I couldn’t have scored the number of goals I did without my incredible teammates, the coaches and staff at the Club, without them the success would not be possible. I am really proud to be nominated for the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award alongside so many other incredible athletes.

The Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award Nominees are led by Real Madrid and England star Jude Bellingham who won the ‘Golden Boy’ award as the best under-21 footballer in European. Bought for €103 million from Dortmund 15 days before his 20th birthday, he scored on his La Liga and Champions League debuts and also in his first El Clásico against Barcelona in October. He scored ten goals in his first ten matches for Real Madrid. He has already played 27 times for England and is one of the national team’s big hopes for the future.

Also nominated for the Breakthrough Award is Scottish middle distance runner Josh Kerr, who beat hot favourite Jakob Ingebrigtsen to win the 1,500 metres world title in Budapest. They are joined by talented tennis teenager Coco Gauff, Chinese swimmer Qin Haiyang and footballers Linda Caicedo of Colombia and Spain’s Salma Paralluelo, two of the stars of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Josh Kerr said: “Winning the gold medal in Budapest was a huge moment for me and it felt like the end of a long, hard road. But it’s also been the start of a new journey, and I’m thrilled that it now includes Laureus. It’s a real honour to be nominated for the Breakthrough of the Year Award alongside these other incredible athletes from across sport. Their stories are inspirational to me and I’m sure they inspire people all over the world.

Bethany Shriever, Winner of the 2022 Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award, has been nominated again. The British BMX cyclist regained the world title in 2023 to add to her Olympic crown. The result means the former teaching assistant now holds both Olympic and world titles at the same time. Shriever is a pioneering figure in her sport after crowdfunding her successful campaign to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

She will be competing against teenage skateboarders Rayssa Leal and Arisa Trew, surfers Caroline Marks and Filipe Toledo and South African sailor Kirsten Neuschȁfer, the first woman sailor to win a solo round-the-world race via the three great capes

Also nominated with Manchester City for Laureus World Team of the Year are Spain Women’s World Cup Team, the Springboks, who won a record fourth Rugby World Cup, the Germany Men’s Basketball Team, winners of the FIBA World Cup, the Oracle Red Bull Racing Formula One Team and the Europe Ryder Cup Team.

The Europe Ryder Cup Team, captained by Luke Donald, won their Nomination by beating the United States emphatically 16½ – 11½ in Rome. Half the 12-strong team was made up by golfers from the United Kingdom: Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy; England’s Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton; and Scotland’s Bob MacIntyre.

One of the most emotional Nominations went to British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson. The 30-year-old won her second gold at the 2023 World Championship to complete a remarkable comeback after an injury nightmare. She feared her career might be over just months after her first world title in 2019, when she tore her achilles tendon. After recovering from that, at the Tokyo Olympics she had to leave the track in a wheelchair after tearing her right calf muscle.

However her victory in Budapest, in which she beat favourite Anna Hall, saw her put those problems behind her with personal bests in the 800 metres and javelin. Her performance won her the Nomination for the Laureus World  Comeback of the Year Award and will make her one of the favourites for gold in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson said: “My experience in Budapest will stay with me forever. The journey to get back to being amongst the world’s best after rupturing my achillies as well as the other injuries and surgeries I’ve had over the past couple years was hard, really really hard. I questioned myself, I felt like quitting, I didn’t know what was possible but I had an amazing team around me who kept me going and I took inspiration from them as well as the amazing athletes like Makéta, Simone, Jamal, Sébastien and Siya who have made amazing comebacks so it’s a real honour to be nominated for this award alongside them.

The Comeback Award is likely to be one of the most competitive. Also in this category is the great Simone Biles, who returned to action after mental health issues to win four gold medals in the World Championship in October. If she was to win the Laureus Statuette in April, it would be her fourth Award, after already winning the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award three times.

Also nominated are Borussia Dortmund footballer Sébastien Hallerwho returned after recovering from cancer, Siya Kolisi, who came back from injury to lead the Springboks to a second straight Rugby World Cup victory, Jamal Murray, who won the NBA Championship with Denver after being out for 18 months, and Markéta Vondroušová, who won Wimbledon after a series of injuries.

In the Sportswoman of the Year category, Spain’s Aitana Bonmati, who won the Golden Ball in the Women’s World Cup, is up against three athletes who won gold medals in the World Athletics Championship: Kenya’s 1,500 metres runner Faith Kipyegon, and sprinters Sha’Carri Richardson of the USA and Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson. Also nominated are Poland’s tennis star Iga Swiatek and brilliant American skier Mikaela Shiffrin. 

The Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award is one of the most prestigious individual honours in the Paralympic world. This year’s Nominees are: Ukraine’s Danylo Chufarov, who won three gold medals and set two world records, at the Allianz Para Swimming World Championships in Manchester; Italy’s Simone Barlaam, who dominated the S9 category in Manchester, winning six gold medals; Hungary’s Luca Ekler, who won 200 and 400 metres and long jump gold, at the Para Athletics World Championships;  Germany’s Markus Rehm, who won a sixth long jump world title; New Zealand’s outstanding track and road cyclist Nicole Murray; and wheelchair tennis legend Diede de Groot, who claimed a third successive calendar Grand Slam.

Laureus Sport for Good is at the heart of the Laureus movement and supports over 300 programmes across the world. Since its inception it has helped to improve the lives of over six-and-a-half-million young people. Each year the Laureus Sport for Good Award goes to one such programme. This year’s shortlist is: Bola Pra Frente, a programme using sport to increase opportunities for Brazilian youth; Fundación Rafa Nadal, which uses sport and education to empower over 1,000 vulnerable young people in Spain and India; ISF Cambodia, which aims to provide a route out of poverty for young people; Dancing Grounds, in New Orleans, USA, that connects dance and creativity with social justice issues; Justice Desk Africa, which uses sport to help young South Africans to understand their human rights; Obiettivo Napoli, which works with over 100 boys and girls facing social exclusion and economic difficulties in Naples.

The full list of Nominees is: 

LAUREUS WORLD SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Tennis – won three Grand Slams, finishing 2023 with a record-equalling 24 Mondo Duplantis (Sweden) Athletics – twice improved his own world pole vault record and won a second world titleErling Haaland (Norway) Football – his 52 goals spearheaded Manchester City’s treble seasonNoah Lyles (USA) Athletics – won the 100, 200 and 4 x 100 metres relay at the World Athletics ChampionshipsLionel Messi (Argentina) Football – a record eighth Ballon d’Or and a record 44th trophy win Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Motor Racing – completed a hat-trick of Formula One World Championships

LAUREUS WORLD SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARDAitana Bonmatí  (Spain) Football – won the World Cup, Champions League and Liga F – plus Ballon d’Or Féminin.  Shericka Jackson (Jamaica) Athletics – won 200 metre gold at the World ChampionshipsFaith Kipyegon (Kenya) Athletics – first woman to win 1,500 and 5,000 metre double at the World ChampionshipsSha’Carri Richardson (USA) Athletics – golds in 100 and 4 x 100 metre relayMikaela Shiffrin (USA) Alpine Skiing – became the all-time leader in World Cup wins Iga Świątek (Poland) Tennis – won a third French Open and regained World No.1 spot at WTA Finals

LAUREUS WORLD TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARDEuropean Ryder Cup Team – Golf – regained trophy with dominant display in Rome Germany Men’s Basketball Team – FIBA World Cup champions after shock wins over USA and SerbiaManchester City (UK) Football  treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions LeagueOracle Red Bull Racing Formula One Team (Austria) – second consecutive constructors’ title after winning all but one raceSpringboks (South Africa) Rugby – winners of a record fourth men’s World Cup   Spain Women’s Football Team – World Cup winners after a game-changing tournament in Australia

LAUREUS WORLD BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR AWARDJude Bellingham (UK) Football – winner of Golden Boy Award for Real Madrid’s new starLinda Caicedo (Colombia) Football – played in under-17, under-20 and senior World Cup in the same yearCoco Gauff (USA) Tennis – maiden Grand Slam title came in US Open, aged 19Qin Haiyang (China) Swimming – swept the breaststroke events (50, 100 & 200 metres) at World ChampionshipsJosh Kerr (UK) Athletics – stunned favourite Jakob Ingebrigtsen to win 1,500 metre world title Salma Paralluelo (Spain) Football – FIFA Young Player Award winner for best young footballer at the World Cup

LAUREUS WORLD COMEBACK OF THE YEAR AWARDSimone Biles (USA) Gymnastics – after a two-year absence, returned to win four World Championship goldsSébastien Haller (Ivory Coast) Football – recovered from cancer diagnosis to return for Borussia Dortmund Katarina Johnson-Thompson (UK) Athletics – won heptathlon gold at World Championships after multiple injuriesSiya Kolisi (South Africa) Rugby – came back from ACL tear to lead his country to World Cup gloryJamal Murray (Canada) Basketball – after 18 months out, won NBA Championship with DenverMarkéta Vondroušová (Czech Republic) Tennis – won Wimbledon as an unseeded player after a series of injuries

LAUREUS SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR WITH A DISABILITY AWARDSimone Barlaam (Italy) Para Swimming – six golds at the Para Swimming World Championships Danylo Chufarov (Ukraine) Para Swimming – two world records, three golds at the Para Swimming World Championships Diede de Groot (Netherlands) Para Tennis – third successive calendar Grand Slam in wheelchair tennis Luca Ekler (Hungary) Para Athletics – golds in 200 and 400 metres, plus long jump, at the Para Athletics World Championships Nicole Murray (New Zealand) Para Cycling – a champion on the road and the track in 2023 Markus Rehm (Germany) Para Athletics – a sixth world title and a 14th world record for the long jumper

LAUREUS WORLD ACTION SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR AWARDRayssa Leal (Brazil) Skateboarding – street golds at three major championships in 2023Caroline Marks (USA) Surfing – first world title for emerging superstarKirsten Neuschȁfer (South Africa) Sailing – first woman to win a solo round-the-world race via three great capes  Bethany Shriever (UK) BMX – regained her world title in GlasgowFilipe Toledo (Brazil) Surfing – defended his world title in CaliforniaArisa Trew (Australia) Skateboarding – 13-year-old became first skateboarder to land 720 in competition

LAUREUS SPORT FOR GOOD AWARDProgrammes nominated by a specialist selection panel; Laureus Academy select the winnerBola Pra Frente (Brazil) Multi-sport x Employability – using sport and education to increase opportunities for youth Dancing Grounds (USA) Dancing x Social Integration – advocating for social justice through dance Fundación Rafa Nadal (Spain) Tennis x Education – using sport in Mallorca and India to empower young peopleISF Cambodia Football x Education – breaking the cycle of poverty through the power of footballJustice Desk Africa (South Africa) Multi-sport x Human Rights – empowering youth to defend their human rights through sportObiettivo Napoli (Italy)  Multi-sport x Inclusion – developing social skills in young people experiencing exclusion and hardship