WATCH South Africa’s Springboks WIN Laureus World Team of the Year Award

South Africa’s Springbok rugby team was named the Laureus World Team of the Year at a ceremony in Berlin, Germany, on Monday evening in front of a gathering of some of the biggest sports names in the world.

springboks win laureus world team of the year award
The Springboks win the Laureus World Team of the Year award in Berlin on Mon 17 Feb 2020. Photo: Laureus

Laureus tweeted congratulations saying: “#StrongerTogether 🦌 💪. An incredible Rugby World Cup triumph which showed the unique power of sport to unite 🙌…”

WATCH Siya Kolisi’s Moving Acceptance Speech

The evening’s events were the landmark 20th Anniversary of the Laureus World Sports Awards, which was inspired by the late South African statesman Nelson Mandela who said: “Sport has the power to change the world!”

These words were echoed by legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar who won the Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020 Award, voted by the people (beating out South Africa’s inspirational swimmer Natalie du Toit).

Tendulkar, who led his team to a glorious home victory at the 2011 ICC World Cup (on his sixth and final attempt) recalled Mandela’s words and said winning a World Cup is the one time when nobody in the country is divided and everyone is united. He said he carried that Cup not for himself, but for India. He also spoke about meeting Mandela when he was just 19 years old. (Watch the video at bottom of page.)

Springbok Captain Siya Kolisi said before the Awards how meaningful it would be for the Springboks to win the Team of the Year Award on this 20th anniversary. He also said how wonderful it had been to win the Rugby World cup and see how positive people around the world have been not only about the rugby, but about South Africa. Watch here:

Kolisi lost out in the Laureus Sportsman of the Year category to six-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, and football’s Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, who shared the award for the first time in Laureus history. Messi became the first footballer to receive the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award.

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge also lost out in the Sportsman of the Year Award, but seemed to enjoy his time in Berlin and was one of the first to congratulate Lewis Hamilton:

Sachin Tendulkar’s acceptance speech:

Full List of Laureus Winners:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Simone Biles

Laureus World Team of the Year: South Africa Men’s Rugby Team

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Egan Bernal

Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Sophia Flörsch

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Oksana Masters

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Chloe Kim

Laureus Best Sporting Moment: ‘Carried on the shoulders of a nation’ – Sachin Tendulkar

Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award: Dirk Nowitzki

Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award: Spanish Basketball Federation

Laureus Sport for Good Award: South Bronx United

Read more about the Laureus Awards on their website here.