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Rafael Nadal and Lindsey Vonn win Laureus awards

Rafael Nadal celebrates his win

Nadal regains Wimbledon title (UK only)

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal and American skiing Olympic gold medallist Lindsey Vonn have won the top honours at this year's Laureus Sport Awards.

World number one Nadal took Sportsman of the Year, and Vonn Sportswoman at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Spain's World Cup-winning squad won Team of the Year, while the Spirit of Sport Award went to the European Ryder Cup team for their win at Celtic Manor.

Winners are chosen by 46 sports stars who make up the Laureus sports academy.

In other awards, Italian motorcycle champion Valentino Rossi claimed the Comeback of the Year after he returned to MotoGP just 41 days after breaking his leg, German golfer Martin Kaymer took the Breakthrough of the Year award for his rise to number two in the world, and American surfer Kelly Slater was named Action Sportsperson of the Year.

Emotional Nadal 'honoured' to win award

There was a rapturous welcome for French soccer great Zinedine Zidane, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his remarkable career, which saw him represent the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid at club level and win the World Cup with France in 1998.

Blind German Paralympic biathlete and cross-country skier Verena Bentele won Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability, while May El-Khalil, who founded the Beirut Marathon took the Sport for Good Award.


Nadal - who won three Grand Slams in 2010 - saw off competition including Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao and Barcelona footballers Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi to win Sportsman of the Year.Vonn - the winner of the women's downhill at the Vancouver Games and a third consecutive overall World Cup title - was named sportswoman ahead of the likes of high jumper Blanka Vlasic and tennis players Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki.

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

Full list of awards:

World Sportsman of the Year: Rafael Nadal (Spain)

World Sportswoman of the Year: Lindsey Vonn (US)

World Team of the Year: Spain World Cup Team

World Breakthrough of the Year: Martin Kaymer (Germany)

World Comeback of the Year: Valentino Rossi (Italy)

World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Verena Bentele (Germany)

World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Kelly Slater (US)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Zinedine Zidane (France)

Spirit of Sport Award: European Ryder Cup team

Sport for Good Award: May El-Khalil, founder of the Beirut Marathon

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see also
European Ryder Cup golfers win Team of the Year
19 Dec 10 |  Sports Personality
McDowell seals Cup win for Europe
04 Oct 10 |  Golf
Rafa's rise to world domination
14 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Nadal win seals career Grand Slam
14 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Spain return to rapturous welcome
13 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Nadal wins second Wimbledon title
04 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Vonn & Janka win World Cup titles
12 Mar 10 |  Winter Sports
Victory gives Vonn downhill title
06 Mar 10 |  Winter Sports

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