Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid and Portugal among Laureus nominees
Cristiano Ronaldo and his teams Portugal and Real Madrid have all been nominated for prizes in the upcoming Laureus 2017 awards.
Ronaldo's achievements with club and country through the last calendar year see him nominated in the World Sportsman of the Year category, while Madrid winning the Champions League, the Club World Cup and the European Super Cup and Portugal's success at Euro 2016 has them both on the World Team of the Year shortlist.
Alongside Ronaldo on the sportsman of the year shortlist are sprinter Usain Bolt, athlete Mo Farah, tennis player Andy Murray and basketball duo Stephen Curry and LeBron James.
The team of the year category has Madrid and Portugal competing with Brazil's Olympic football champions, Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team, the Chicago Cubs' World Series-winning baseball side and NBA champions Cleveland Cavaliers.
There is also football interest in the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award where English Premier League champions Leicester City and European Championship quarterfinalists Iceland are nominated alongside Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg, Olympic world-record breakers Almaz Ayana and Wayde van Niekerk, and Olympic Rugby Sevens gold medal winners Fiji.
The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in Monaco on Feb. 14 after being chosen by the 61 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy -- who include former stars from many sports including footballers Luis Figo, Franz Beckenbauer, Sir Bobby Charlton, Raul Gonzalez, Marcel Desailly and Carles Puyol along with other ex-elite athletes ranging from Martina Navratilova to Lennox Lewis to Tony Hawks.
Laureus World Sports Academy chairman and former New Zealand rugby captain Sean Fitzpatrick said he expected an extra special ceremony this year.
"You always know in an Olympic year you are going to see a strong group of Nominees and this year has certainly proved that," Fitzpatrick said. "What delights me is that we have an amazing mix of some of the greatest names in sport who have been performing at the highest level for as long as a decade, combined with some of the most exciting new faces we have seen for many years. It really is going to be an exceptional Laureus Awards next month."
The Laureus Awards Ceremony also showcases the work of Laureus Sport for Good, which aims to use sport as a means to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, and supports more than 100 charity programmes in around 40 countries.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan