Lionel Messi was left “speechless” after Rafael Nadal admitted he desires him to win the Laureus Award, regardless of having been nominated himself.
The icons are each amongst a star-studded shortlist of nominees for the distinguished gong, handed out annually to the world’s finest sportsman, The Solar reviews.
Nadal, 36, might win the prize for the third time – having additionally picked it up in 2011 and 2021.
However the humble Spaniard, whereas honoured to be nominated, says he desires Messi to win it as a substitute.
He wrote on Instagram: “An honour to be nominated once more to the Laureus Sportsman of the yr… however… this yr… let’s go Messi, you deserve it.”
In response to tennis favorite Nadal, Messi gushed: “That an athlete as nice as you says that about me leaves me speechless…
“Thanks very a lot, Rafa Nadal, you additionally deserve every part for the best way you compete each time you exit on the courtroom.
“You’re a winner, possibly we’ve a number of competitors there, huh? You additionally deserve the Laureus award this yr, actually.”
Messi, 35, impressed Argentina to World Cup glory in 2022, profitable the match’s Golden Ball award and scoring twice within the last.
He additionally helped Paris Saint-Germain reclaim the Ligue 1 title from Lille.
Nadal, in the meantime, endured an injury-plagued yr – however was imperious when he was capable of play unencumbered by bodily illnesses.
He scooped a surprising Australian Open title in January 2022, in some way defeating Daniil Medvedev from two units down.
He then gained his 14th French Open – and document twenty second Grand Slam general – comfortably beating protege Casper Ruud within the last.
Within the Sportsman of the Yr class, Nadal and Messi are up in opposition to Kylian Mbappe, Steph Curry, Max Verstappen and Mondo Duplantis.
Whereas footballer Alexia Putellas and tennis world No 1 Iga Swiatek have been included on the Sportswoman of the Yr shortlist.
– This text initially appeared on thesun.co.uk and was reproduced with permission.