March 13, 2014
Here, in the second part of our analysis of the Nominees, we take in names from Tennis to Football to Formula 1.
But who gets your support?
RAFAEL NADAL (Spain) Tennis
Spain’s Rafael Nadal returned to tennis after a seven month absence with a knee injury to produce one of his finest ever years. He missed the Australian Open, but was back to his best to win the French Open for a record eighth time, becoming the only male player to win at least one Grand Slam event for nine consecutive years and confirming his position as probably the greatest clay court player in history. He also won the US Open in September to take him to a career total of 13 Grand Slams, just four behind Roger Federer. In 2013, he regained his No 1 world ranking and also won five ATP Masters 1000 tournaments.
CRISTIANO RONALDO (Portugal) Football
In the calendar year 2013, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 69 goals for Real Madrid and Portugal, beating his previous best of 63 in 2012. A superb hat-trick in the FIFA World Cup play-off qualifier against Sweden in November, which secured a place in this year’s finals for Portugal, was the climax of a remarkable 12 months for Ronaldo. He has now scored 47 goals for Portugal, equalling Pauleta’s record. In April, he became the first player in Real Madrid history to score more than 30 goals for three straight seasons. He won the Ballon d’Or as FIFA Player of the Year for 2013, beating the other short-listed players Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery.
SEBASTIAN VETTEL (Germany) Motor Racing
Sebastian Vettel established himself as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all-time with his fourth straight World Championship in 2013. At just 26 years and 116 days, Vettel is the youngest four-time champion in the history of the sport – a phenomenal achievement. He now joins the greatest motor racing legends Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost, who all won at least four world titles. After a slow start to the year, Vettel showed his ability and temperament by turning things around with a record nine straight wins in a single season in his Red Bull car. Such was his dominance, he secured the title at the Indian Grand Prix in October with three races still to go. During the year he won a total of 13 Grand Prix, finishing on 397 points, a massive 155 ahead of Fernando Alonso. This is the fifth year Vettel has been nominated for a Laureus World Sports Award, but he has not yet been a winner.