ABU DHABI // Rafael Nadal or Sebastian Vettel could be celebrating lifting another title in the capital next month after they were named among the nominees for the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards at Emirates Palace hotel.
Nadal, who won the Mubadala World Tennis Championship earlier this month, is in the running for his second prize in the men's competition.
He is up against Vettel, the German who clinched the Formula One drivers' championship in thrilling style at Yas Marina Circuit in November. Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxer, Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers basketball player, and Barcelona footballers Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi have also been nominated.
Serena Williams, the three-time winner, is up against fellow tennis players Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki; Lindsey Vonn, the American skier, Jessica Ennis, the British heptathlete, and Blanka Vlasic, the Croatian high jumper.
The Laureus World Team of the Year category looks to be one of the most competitive ever. The Spain World Cup team's first title in South Africa will make them strong contenders, but also nominated are the European Ryder Cup team, Inter Milan, the European Champions League winners who also won the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi last month, the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA winners, the Red Bull F1 team and the New Zealand rugby union team.
"This has been a great year for sport and the Academy are going to find it extremely difficult to decide who to vote for as winners," Edwin Moses, the Laureus World Sports Academy chairman, said.
"We have had several massive events in 2010 - notably the Fifa World Cup and the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and that has been reflected in the nominations.
"There has been a host of amazing individual and team performances and I congratulate all the nominees and now we look forward to what should be a great awards ceremony next month in Abu Dhabi."
* With agency
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Kobe Bryant (US) Basketball
Andres Iniesta (Spain) Football
Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football
Rafael Nadal (Spain) Tennis
Manny Pacquiao (Philippines) Boxing
Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Motor Racing
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Kim Clijsters (Belgium) Tennis
Jessica Ennis (UK) Athletics
Blanka Vlasic (Croatia) Athletics
Lindsey Vonn (US) Alpine Skiing
Serena Williams (US) Tennis
Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) Tennis
Laureus World Team of the Year
All Blacks (New Zealand) Rugby
European Ryder Cup Team
Inter Milan (Italy) Football
Los Angeles Lakers (US) Basketball
Red Bull Formula One Team (Austria)
Spain World Cup Team
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Martin Kaymer (Germany) Golf
Christophe Lemaitre (France) Athletics
Matteo Manassero (Italy) Golf
Thomas Müller (Germany) Football
Louis Oosthuizen (S. Africa) Golf
Teddy Tamgho (France) Athletics
Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Paula Creamer (US) Golf
Tyson Gay (US) Athletics
Justine Henin (Belgium) Tennis
Carolina Kluft (Sweden) Athletics
Merlene Ottey (Slovenia) Athletics
Valentino Rossi (Italy) Motor Cycling
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Verena Bentele (Germany) Skiing / Biathlon
Matt Cowdrey (Australia) Swimming
Daniel Dias (Brazil) Swimming
Jakub Krako (Slovakia) Alpine Skiing
Esther Vergeer (Netherlands) Wheelchair Tennis
Lauren Woolstencroft (Canada) Alpine Skiing
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Jamie Bestwick (UK) BMX
Victor Fernandez (Spain) Windsurfing
Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing
Levi Sherwood (New Zealand) Freestyle Moto-Cross
Kelly Slater (US) Surfing
Shaun White (US) Snowboarding