Nadal, Zidane honored at Laureus sports awards

Updated: 2011-02-09 09:42


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Nadal, Zidane honored at Laureus sports awards

Tennis champion Rafael Nadal of Spain poses with his Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award during the Laureus World Sports Awards at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi Feb 7, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

ABU DHABI - Spain enjoyed a double celebration on Monday when tennis champion Rafael Nadal and their World Cup winning soccer team walked away with the top prizes at the Laureus Sports Awards.

Nadal was named Sportsman of the Year after a remarkable season in which he won the French Open, Wimbledon and  Open trophies while Spain's World Cup side were named Team of the Year at a glittering ceremony attended by celebrities and sporting greats.

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"It's an honour, in my name, that of my colleagues and the Spanish soccer federation, to receive this award from the world of sport," Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said in a live feed to the awards ceremony from the team's training base outside Madrid.

American Alpine skier Lindsay Vonn, who won the Olympic downhill gold at the Vancouver Games last February just days after suffering a shin injury, was voted Sportswoman of the Year.

Spain, the United States and Germany were the big winners with each country bagging two awards.

There was a rapturous welcome for French soccer great Zinedine Zidane, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his remarkable career.

The Spirit of Sport Award was presented to the European Ryder Cup Team to mark their emotional win over the United States in a match "which demonstrated great sportsmanship, golf played at the highest level and enormous and passionate galleries", a statement from the organisers said.

The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.

Double Oscar winner Kevin Spacey hosted the event attended by celebrities from the world of sports and entertainment.

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