Vamos! Rafael Nadal is used to taking on tough competition, and this year’s contest for Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award was no different. The Spaniard took out fellow legends Kobe Bryant, Manny Pacquiao, Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Sebastian Vettel to take the title. This is Rafa’s first Sportsman of the Year award, having been nominated in 2009 but losing to Usain Bolt in a tough Olympic year. He won Newcomer of the Year in 2006.
Lindsey Vonn scored one for the Fedophiles in the Sportswoman of the Year category, beating out tennis stars Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki.
Valentino Rossi was the winner over now-retired-again Justine Henin in the Comeback of the Year category. (It would have been mildly amusing if she’d won it.)
Rafa with Australian surfing star Stephanie Gilmore. Hola cheekbones!
Here are some videos from the event, held in Abu Dhabi.
Praising Roger on the red carpet with Pedro Pinter:
Rafa accepts the award:
Even if you don’t speak Spanish, you can enjoy Rafa in his tux and slicked back hair: