It was double delight for Spain with Rafael Nadal and the World Cup-winning football team clinching the Laureus Awards at a glittering function here on Monday.

Nadal pipped FIFA Ballon d'or winner Lionel Messi and youngest-ever Formula One World champion Sebastian Vettel to the title in a close battle.

Nadal, who bagged the 'Newcomer of the Year' award in 2006, won three consecutive Grand Slam titles, completed a career Slam and proved invincible in 2010. It was easily one of his best years on the Tour and the Laureus recognition proves this beyond doubt.

Spanish delight

The Spanish World Cup squad was the overwhelming favourite to claim the ‘Team of the Year' crown and it came as no surprise when it won the accolade.

Italy's motorcyling champion Valentino Rossi bagged the ‘Comeback of the Year' award after displaying grit and determination to get back on the saddle just 41 days after fracturing his right leg in a crash. He even won the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang to prove everyone wrong.

France's Zinedine Zidane was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement' prize, a fitting tribute to the stirring deeds of the footballing legend.

The winners: Sportsman of the Year: Rafael Nadal (Spain, tennis); Sportswoman of the Year: Lindsey Vonn (USA, alpine skiing); World Team of the Year: Spain World Cup football team; Breakthrough of the Year: Martin Kaymer (Germany, golf); Comeback of the Year: Valentino Rossi (Italy, motorcyling); Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Verena Bentele (Germany, skiing/biathlon);

Lifetime Achievement Award: Zinedine Zidane (France, football).

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