Cafu, Cantona, Capello, Gullit, Puyol, Saha, Sun wen

‘I wish I could have had all those guys in my teams, but I am delighted they are showing their support’ – says Laureus Ambassador Fabio Capello

Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Shanghai on April 15


A glittering collection of football stars that would grace any World Cup team are to attend the Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai.

‘Cafu, Eric Cantona, Fabio Capello, Ruud Gullit, Carles Puyol, Louis Saha, Sun Wen’ reads like a who’s who of footballing greats, male and female, and they will all be in Shanghai to honour the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of the year.

The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier honours event on the international sporting calendar. The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 50 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at the globally televised Awards Ceremony staged at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on April 15. 

Laureus Ambassador Fabio Capello, one of the game’s great coaches, currently in charge of the Russian national team, said: “I wish I could have had all those guys in my teams, but I am delighted they are with me now and showing their support for Laureus, which is not just about the Awards, but about the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.”

The credentials of the world-famous football stars who will be in Shanghai are gilt-edged:

Brazilian defender Cafu has played more international matches for Brazil than any other player. Over 16 years, he played 142 games and is the only player from any country to appear in three World Cup Finals – winning in 1994 and 2002 and losing in 1998.

Eric Cantona, one of the most recognised footballers on the planet, is now a hugely popular actor. He was a charismatic player, one of the great icons of the game, who reached the summit of his success at Manchester United, where he won four Premier League titles in five years. He played 45 times for France.

Laureus Ambassador Fabio Capello is one of the game’s great managers, he is currently in charge of the Russian national team and has managed AC Milan, Real Madrid, Roma, Juventus and England.

Ruud Gullit personified the concept of ‘Total Football’ in the Netherlands team which won the 1988 European Championship under his captaincy. He was twice a European Cup winner with AC Milan.

Carles Puyol spent his entire 15-year career as an outstanding defender and eventually club captain at FC Barcelona. He was also an important member of the Spanish national team which won the 2008 European Championship and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

One of football’s great natural goalscorers, French international Louis Saha holds the record for the fastest goal ever scored in an FA Cup Final, after 25 seconds, for Everton. Among his other teams were Metz, Fulham and Manchester United.

Sun Wen, one of the most inspiring players in the history of women’s football, playing 152 times for China, she was voted FIFA Female Player of the Century in 2000.

Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports more than 150 community sports projects in 34 countries, including China. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €60 million for projects which have improved the lives of millions of young people.

The Awards Ceremony, attended by legends of sport past and present, celebrates the achievements of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of the year. The Host Partner of the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards is Chinese textile and wool company HengYuanXiang Group (HYX), and the event will receive the strong support of the Shanghai Municipal Government.


The full list of Nominees for the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards is:


Laureus World Sportsman of the Year

Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Tennis; Lewis Hamilton (UK) Motor Racing; Renaud Lavillenie (France) Athletics; Rory McIlroy (UK) Golf; Marc Márquez (Spain) Motor Cycling; Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Football.


Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year

Valerie Adams (NZ) Athletics; Marit Bjørgen (Norway) Nordic Skiing; Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) Athletics; Tina Maze (Slovenia) Alpine Skiing; Li Na (China) Tennis: Serena Williams (US) Tennis.


Laureus World Team of the Year

European Ryder Cup Team (Golf); Germany Men’s Football Team; Mercedes AMG Petronas Team (Germany); Real Madrid Football Team (Spain); San Antonio Spurs (US) Basketball; Switzerland Davis Cup Team (Tennis).


Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award

Marin Cilic (Croatia) Tennis; Mario Götze (Germany) Football; Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Motor Racing; James Rodriguez (Colombia) Football; Mikaela Shiffrin (US) Alpine Skiing; Switzerland Davis Cup Team (Tennis).


Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award

Francesco Acerbi (Italy) Football; Schalk Burger (South Africa) Rugby; Diego Milito (Argentina) Football; Jo Pavey (UK) Athletics; Pierre Vaultier (France) Snowboarding; Oliver Wilson (UK) Golf.


Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Shelley Gautier (Canada) Cycling; Tatyana McFadden (US) Wheelchair Racing; Roman Petushkov (Russia) Nordic Skiing; Anna Schaffelhuber (Germany) Alpine Skiing; Sarah Storey (UK) Cycling; Leung Yuk Wing (Hong Kong SAR China) Boccia.


Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award

Alan Eustace (US) Skydiving; Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing; Nyjah Huston (US) Skateboarding; Sage Kotsenburg (US) Snowboarding; Danny MacAskill (UK) Trials Cycling; Gabriel Medina (Brazil) Surfing.


Among the sporting greats who have previously been named as winners of Laureus Awards over the last 15 years have been Usain Bolt, Sebastian Coe, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Kelly Holmes, Yao Ming, Rafael Nadal, Pelé, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Shaun White, Serena Williams, Liu Xiang and Zinedine Zidane.

Guests who have attended previous Awards Ceremonies in the past have included David and Victoria Beckham, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jackie Chan, Thandie Newton, Clive Owen and Eva Longoria.

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