Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Barcelona named Laureus Team of the Year

Forward Lionel Messi and defender Eric Abidal were both up for individual awards but they missed out to tennis ace Novak Djokovic and golf star Darren Clarke respectively

Barcelona have been named as the Laureus team of the year for 2011 at an awards ceremony in London on Monday night. The Catalans, who won La Liga, the Champions League, the Spanish Supercup and the Fifa Club World Cup over the course of last year, beat off competition for the prize from NBA champions Dallas Mavericks, Formula 1 outfit Red Bull, Rugby World Cup winners New Zealand, England’s cricket team and the Japanese women’s national football side.

The Laureus World Sports Awards were set up in 1999 to recognise outstanding achievement by athletes and teams across the sporting year, and Barcelona were also represented in two other categories with Lionel Messi nominated for World Sportsman of the Year and Eric Abidal up for World Comeback of the Year. However, Messi, who last month collected his third consecutive Fifa Ballon d’Or, was beaten to the top gong by tennis ace Novak Djokovic. Meanwhile, Abidal, who recovered from an operation to have a tumour removed on his liver in time to lift the Champions League trophy, missed out to golf star Darren Clarke. Speaking before the event, Barca president Sandro Rosell vowed that the club would “keep on applying ourselves and maintain this level [of excellence] in the coming years. “The nominations of Abidal, Messi and the club are an honour, and it will help us keep on working and thinking about how to keep up this level in the future. “It’s very hard to achieve things in life, but it’s harder still to maintain that level [of excellence].” Barcelona are currently second in La Liga, seven points adrift of leaders Real Madrid, but are closing in on a place in the final of the Copa del Rey and are set to resume the defence of their Champions League title later this month. - http://www.goal.com/

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