SPORTS

Rafael Nadal, Spain World Cup Team Wins Laureus Sports Award

Rafael Nadal holds the trophy after winning the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year at the Laureus Awards in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Monday Feb. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Nousha Salimi)

Rafael Nadal holds the trophy after winning the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year at the Laureus Awards in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Monday Feb. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Nousha Salimi)  (AP2011)

Rafael Nadal and the Spanish national soccer team took home yet another prize.

The top-ranked Nadal, who won three Grand Slam tennis titles in 2010, won the Laureus Sports Award. He got bumped out of the Australian Open last month, failing to win his fourth Grand Slam in a row, or his so-called "Rafa Slam."

The Spaniard beat out Kobe Bryant, whose Los Angeles Lakers won a second-straight NBA championship, and Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, who beat Mexican Antonio Margarito last year. 

Soccer players Andrés Iniesta and Lionel Messi were also in the running.

Spanish World Cup champions, who beat out the Netherlands in South Africa last year, won the team prize. The victory came two years after Spain won the European Championship.

Lindsey Vonn, the gold medalist in the women's downhill at the Vancouver Olympics and winner of a third consecutive overall World Cup title, took the sportswoman's award. High jumper Blanka Vlasic and tennis players Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki were among the other nominees.

French soccer great Zinedine Zidane won the lifetime achievement award and American surfer Kelly Slater was the action sportsperson of the year. Italy's seven-time motorcycle world champion Valentino Rossi took the comeback of the year award after he returned to MotoGP just 41 days after breaking his leg.

The winners are chosen by 46 sports stars who make up the Laureus sports academy.

Proceeds from the awards ceremony benefit the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports 83 community sports projects around the world.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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