Max Verstappen to go up against Lionel Messi

Max Verstappen dominated 2022, winning a record breaking 15 races on the way to his second consecutive world championship.

Red Bull got everything absolutely right following last year’s major regulation changes, storming to both championships with little opposition.

Both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships were wrapped up with races to spare, as Max Verstappen drove as a level above anyone else on the grid for the entirety of 2022.

Winning 15 races on his way to championship glory, Verstappen was almost unbeatable last season and his achievements have been recognised by Laureus, who have nominated the Dutchman for their Sportsman of the Year.

The 25-year-old Red Bull driver is one of only six nominees for the award, showing how high of an honour it is to be put forward for this global award.

READ: George Russell makes controversial pre-season testing demand

Verstappen will be facing some tough competition for the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award, with the other five nominees all have strong arguments to be favourite for the award.

Lionel Messi topped of his legendary career late last year by winning the FIFA World Cup with Argentina, cementing his legacy as the greatest of all time.

Kylian Mbappe has also been nominated for the award, with the Frenchman lighting up the World Cup at the age of 24.

The PSG and France forward did lose in the final to Messi’s Argentina, however he did score a stunning hattrick in France’s heart breaking penalty shootout defeat.

Article continues below

From the world of tennis, Rafael Nadal has been rewarded for his fine 2022 with a nomination for the award, having won the Australian Open and the French Open to move himself on 22 career Grand Slams.

Steph Curry will also content with Verstappen for the Sportman of the Year award, as his stunning year in the NBA included leading the Golden State Warriors to the championship, which was Curry’s fourth.

READ: Ferrari boss warns reported huge power gain would be cheating

The final of the six nominees is Armand Duplantis, with the Swedish pole vault sensation beating his own world record last year to claim another European title.

Having dominated a sport where only 20 athletes are able to compete, Verstappen has once again proved that he is currently the best of the best as far as motorsport goes.

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher have all won the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award and Verstappen will be hoping to add his name to this illustrious list of F1 winners.