In It Together - Laureus World Team of the Year

Laureus World Team of the Year Nominees 2024
Nothing moves us like team sport – and our nominees for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award made their fans believe that anything was possible. 
Great athletes inspire us. We tune in to watch them. They leave us in awe. But for pure, feverish devotion – for season tickets to an emotional rollercoaster – there is nothing like team sport. The collective on the field represents the collective inside the stadium or watching at home, in team colours, always on the edge of their seat. 

As fans, these experiences create memories and communities. And sometimes the teams that we follow in rain and in shine have that unforgettable season. They will never forget it, and neither will we. That’s how it went in 2023 for our Nominees for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award. 

For some of them, this was a year when a winning team became a dynasty for the ages. For others, 2023 delivered a breakthrough success, or an against-the-odds triumph that shocked the world. They all took with them on their journey an army of fans who shared in the drama and celebrated their triumphs.
Spain - Laureus World Team of the Year Nominees
At the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the Spain Women’s Football Team were imperious. It was a tournament that changed the landscape of women’s football – the best-attended in history, while also smashing broadcast records – and they emerged as its benchmark.Spain won a series of thrillers during the knockout rounds, scoring in extra-time to beat the Netherlands, then in the last minute against Sweden in the semi-final, before a single-goal victory over England in the final.

Their team included Aitana Bonmatí, winner of both the Ballon d'Or 
Féminin and the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best player; Salma Paralluelo, winner of the award for the tournament’s best player under the age of 21; and the winning captain, Olga Carmona, the left-back who scored the winning goals in both the semi-final and the final, the latter coming two days after the death of her father.  
Manchester City - Laureus World Team of the Year Nominees
Spain are now world champions at Under-17, Under-20 and senior level – the undisputed No.1. And the same can be said for Manchester City. They won the Premier League for the fifth time in six seasons and added the FA Cup, but it was victory in the Champions League that elevated Pep Guardiola’s side to a new level. 

Their acquisition of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2022 gave them one of the world’s great goalscorers and for the season that followed, City were untouchable. Their first European trophy since 1970 – earned with a 1-0 win over Inter in Istanbul – completed a treble that earned them a place in football history.
Springboks - Laureus World Team of the Year Nominees
At the Rugby World Cup, another dynasty was confirmed. The Springboks won a record fourth men's title and defended the trophy they had won in 2019 in Japan by this time defeating the All Blacks in a Clash of the Titans final. Captain Siya Kolisi lifted the trophy after successive single-point victories in the quarter-final (against France), the semi-final (against England) and the final. In front of 80,000 at the Stade de France, Handré Pollard kicked all four of his penalty attempts, but it was player-of-the-match Pieter-Steph du Toit’s incredible 28 tackles that took them over the line, illustrating the tenacity that defines this great team..
Oracle Red Bull Racing - Laureus World Team of the Year Nominees
In Formula One, the Oracle Red Bull Racing Team won a second straight Constructors' World Championship, but that fact alone tells only a fraction of a dominance that was without parallel in the history of the sport.

One of the Red Bull cars crossed the line first in all but one of the 22 Grand Prix in 2023 for a win percentage of 95.45%. That beat the previous best, set by the legendary 1988 McLaren-Honda team, featuring drivers Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, who won 15 of the then 16 races on the calendar. With Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez replicating their 1-2 finish in the Drivers’ Championship, it was a season when the entire team came close to perfection. 
European Ryder Cup Team - Laureus World Team of the Year Nominees
In golf, there is one event when a ruthlessly individualistic sport temporarily acquires the passion and the partisanship of sport’s historic team rivalries.

The European Ryder Cup Team are nominated for a performance that threatened to take the heat out of their biennial feud with their American counterparts, such was their superiority.

On the first morning in Rome, Europe won in all four of the foursome matches, taking a 4-0 lead that they never looked like losing. By the time Tommy Fleetwood won his match against Rickie Fowler on the 16th hole, that lead had been extended to 16 ½ - 11 ½ and captain Luke Donald was soon in possession of won of sport’s iconic trophies.
Germany - Laureus World Team of the Year Nominees
The final group on the shortlist for this Award belong to a club that gives us some of the greatest stories in sports: the underdogs.

When the FIBA Basketball World Cup began in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia in August 2023, not a single media representative selected the Germany Men’s Basketball Team as likely winners in the pre-tournament media pack.

The 11th-ranked team in the world turned in a perfect eight wins from eight matches, taking down top-10 teams including Slovenia, Australia, the No.2 seed USA in the semi-finals and then Serbia in the final.

Of tournament MVP Dennis Schröder, coach Gordon Herbert said: “We would not be here without him, and he would not be here without the team.” A fitting reminder of what makes each of these remarkable collective units so special. 

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