LONDON: Argentina’s national football team and Spanish club Barcelona’s captain Lionel Messi, who plays as a forward, has beaten a host of international sports super-stars to win the 2015 ESPY Award for Best International Athlete.
Messi won this award during a gala held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
The 28-year-old Argentine trumped world’s top-ranked Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, the reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, 17-year-old South Korean golf prodigy Lydia Ko and highly-acclaimed Portugal and Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo for the award.
The ESPY Award for Best International Athlete is presented annually by the American sports media giant ESPN to the best non-American player to honor their sporting achievements. Messi previously won the award in 2012.
The award came on the same day as UEFA announced that Messi joined two other Barcelona stars, Brazil’s Neymar and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, as well as Ronaldo, Eden Hazard of Chelsea and five Juventus players for the 2014-15 Best Player in Europe award.
The three finalists will be named on August 12, with the winner to be announced by a jury vote at the Champions’ League group stage draw in Monaco on August 28.