Only At Laureus ahead of Laureus World Sports Awards

Olympians press conference
With the Laureus World Sports Awards 24 hours away, the biggest game in club football met the greatest show in sports. 
What do you get when you combine El Clásico with the Laureus World Sports Awards? Tonight at the Bernabeu – a Jude Bellingham box-to-box run away from the Palacio de Cibeles, where the greatest athletes in the world will gather in 24 hours’ time – we found out.  

As Barcelona visited Real Madrid for the latest episode in a 122-year-old sporting epic, watching from the magnificently renovated home of the 14-time European champions were a group of sporting stars worthy of the occasion – a reminder of the unique sporting moments that truly are #OnlyAtLaureus. 

As Bellingham and Vinicius Junior faced off against Robert Lewandowski and Raphina, among the 80,000 watching the most famous club match in world football were Tom Brady and Novak Djokovic.

The most successful quarterback in NFL history and the man with more tennis Grand Slams than any other have something of a mutual appreciation society going on. Brady was in the Serb’s box as he won the 2023 French Open – one of three majors last year that have led to a nomination for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award – and Djokovic has spoken of Brady as an inspiration, particularly when it comes to longevity in elite sport.   
Real Madrid
The countdown to the greatest show in sport continued in Madrid, as sporting legends from the Laureus World Sports Academy – the 69-strong body whose votes decide the Awards – met international media to discuss some of 2024’s most-anticipated sporting events. 

Four Olympic legends took to the stage at the media centre within the beautiful Palacio de Cibeles as the Paris Games became the focus. The stories of Edwin Moses, Jessica Ennis Hill, Nadia Comeneci and Michael Johnson span 11 Olympiads and together they won 12 gold medals. They were joined on stage by Filipe Toledo, back-to-back world champion surfer and a Nominee for the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year.
They each recalled their first experience of Olympic gold – Johnson and Ennis-Hill as favourites, with the weight of a home crowd’s expectation upon them; Moses and Comeneci as surprises, crashing onto the world stage.

And each of them spoke of their roles within the Laureus World Sports Academy, engaging with the programmes supported by Laureus Sport for Good all over the world, and driving the big conversations in sport around issues such as gender equality and mental health.

On the eve of the Madrid Open, leading into the French Open and Wimbledon, who better to discuss the past and present of tennis than Martina Navratilova and Boris Becker, members of both the Laureus Academy and the International Tennis Hall of Fame after careers that included a combined 24 Grand Slam singles titles. 
They discussed the current depth in men’s and women’s tennis; the unique nature and appeal of the Olympic tennis tournament (Becker is the owner of a gold medal from the doubles event in 1992); future innovations for the game and much more – as well as the progress both have seen within the Laureus movement since its inauguration in 2000. “If you’d have told me 25 years ago that this is where we’d be, I’d have told you that you were dreaming,” said Navratilova.

Two all-time legends of NFL and tennis together at El Clásico? Olympic greats from Montreal 1976 to Rio 2016? Tennis royalty who are as good breaking the game down as they were playing it? 


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