Who’s better: Jordan Spieth or Lionel Messi?


That might seem like a silly question, but it’s exactly the question being asked by the Laureus World Sports Awards, for which the nominations have just been announced. 

The annual awards ceremony honours remarkable individuals and teams from the world of sport, along with celebrating the greatest sporting achievements of the last year. 

This year’s shortlist for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award is:

Usain Bolt, Jamaica, Athletics – Won three sprint gold medals in the World Championships in Beijing

Stephen Curry, United States, Basketball – Led Golden State Warriors to NBA championship, named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player

Novak Djokovic, Serbia, Tennis – World No.1, won three Grand Slams and was finalist in French Open

Lewis Hamilton, UK, Motor Racing – Won third career and second straight Formula One world title

Lionel Messi, Argentina, Football – Star of the FC Barcelona team, won record fifth Ballon d’Or

Jordan Spieth, United States, Golf – At 21, won The Masters and the US Open and became world No.1


Comparing golfers to footballers, sprinters and Formula One drivers is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, badgers and garden furniture, but probably a lot more fun. 

Had Jordan Spieth won The Open and PGA Championship to complete the grand slam, we’d give it to him in a heartbeat. As it stands, we think he’s got a better chance in the World Breakthrough of the Year category, for which he’s also nominated, alongside Jason Day, the Chilean football team, Tyson Fury, Adam Peaty and Max Verstappen. 

Only one golfer has ever been crowned World Sportsman of the Year, and it will come as no surprise that it was Tiger Woods. Woods won the first ever title, in 2000, and held onto the crown in 2001. Since then, Michael Schumacher, Lance Armstrong, Roger Federer (four times in a row!), Usain Bolt, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Sebastien Vettel have all taken home the title. 


The awards are decided by a 55-strong panel of sports personalities, including Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Sir Ian Botham, Sir Bobby Charlton, Sebastien Coe, Marcel Desailly, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Tony Hawk, Michael Johnson and Martina Navratilova. 

This year’s awards will be announced in Berlin on April 18. 

Do you think Spieth has a chance?

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