Football world champion Lionel Messi has been honored by the Laureus World Sports Academy. At the Vendôme Pavilion in Paris on Monday, Messi received the Sportsman of the Year award and also accepted the so-called Team of the Year award on behalf of the Argentina national football team. Messi is the first athlete to win both the individual and team awards in the same year, Laureus announced.

“This is a special honour, especially as this year’s Laureus World Sports Awards will be held in Paris, the city that has welcomed my family since we came here in 2021,” the 35-year-old was quoted as saying in a statement. “I want to say thank you to all my team-mates, not only at national team but also at PSG – none of these I achieved on my own and I’m grateful to be able to share everything with them.”

After a public apology from Messi, his club Paris Saint-Germain had prematurely lifted the Argentine’s suspension. The seven-time world footballer, previously active at FC Barcelona for a long time, has resumed training, the French champion and leader announced on Monday. Messi apologized to the club and his team-mates on Friday for his unannounced short trip to Saudi Arabia. His future after this season is open.

In addition to Messi and soccer world champion Argentina, Laureus prizes also went to track and field world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce from Jamaica, tennis pro Carlos Alcaraz from Spain, Danish soccer player Christian Eriksen, Paralympic athlete Catherine Debrunner from Switzerland and freestyle skis -Olympic champion Eileen Gu from China.