CAFU, CANTONA, CAPELLO, GULLIT, PUYOL, SAHA, SUN WEN GREAT STARS OF FOOTBALL TO ATTEND LAUREUS WORLD SPORTS AWARDS

  • ‘I wish I could have had all those guys in my teams, but I am delighted they are showing their support’ – says Laureus Ambassador Fabio Capello
  • Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Shanghai on April 15
  • Apply for media accreditation by April 7 at http://accreditation.laureus.com

SHANGHAI, March 31, 2015 - A glittering collection of football stars that would grace any World Cup team are to attend the Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai.
‘Cafu, Eric Cantona, Fabio Capello, Ruud Gullit, Carles Puyol, Louis Saha, Sun Wen’ reads like a who’s who of footballing greats, male and female, and they will all be in Shanghai to honour the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of the year.
The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier honours event on the international sporting calendar. The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 50 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at the globally televised Awards Ceremony staged at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on April 15.
Laureus Ambassador Fabio Capello, one of the game’s great coaches, currently in charge of the Russian national team, said: “I wish I could have had all those guys in my teams, but I am delighted they are with me now and showing their support for Laureus, which is not just about the Awards, but about the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.”
The credentials of the world-famous football stars who will be in Shanghai are gilt-edged:
Brazilian defender Cafu has played more international matches for Brazil than any other player. Over 16 years, he played 142 games and is the only player from any country to appear in three World Cup Finals – winning in 1994 and 2002 and losing in 1998.
Eric Cantona, one of the most recognised footballers on the planet, is now a hugely popular actor. He was a charismatic player, one of the great icons of the game, who reached the summit of his success at Manchester United, where he won four Premier League titles in five years. He played 45 times for France.
Laureus Ambassador Fabio Capello is one of the game’s great managers, he is currently in charge of the Russian national team and has managed AC Milan, Real Madrid, Roma, Juventus and England.
Ruud Gullit personified the concept of ‘Total Football’ in the Netherlands team which won the 1988 European Championship under his captaincy. He was twice a European Cup winner with AC Milan.
Carles Puyol spent his entire 15-year career as an outstanding defender and eventually club captain at FC Barcelona. He was also an important member of the Spanish national team which won the 2008 European Championship and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
One of football’s great natural goalscorers, French international Louis Saha holds the record for the fastest goal ever scored in an FA Cup Final, after 25 seconds, for Everton. Among his other teams were Metz, Fulham and Manchester United.
Sun Wen, one of the most inspiring players in the history of women’s football, playing 152 times for China, she was voted FIFA Female Player of the Century in 2000.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports more than 150 community sports projects in 34 countries, including China. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €60 million for projects which have improved the lives of millions of young people.
The Awards Ceremony, attended by legends of sport past and present, celebrates the achievements of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of the year. The Host Partner of the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards is Chinese textile and wool company HengYuanXiang Group (HYX), and the event will receive the strong support of the Shanghai Municipal Government.
The full list of Nominees for the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards is:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Tennis; Lewis Hamilton (UK) Motor Racing; Renaud Lavillenie (France) Athletics; Rory McIlroy (UK) Golf; Marc Márquez (Spain) Motor Cycling; Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Football.
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Valerie Adams (NZ) Athletics; Marit Bjørgen (Norway) Nordic Skiing; Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) Athletics; Tina Maze (Slovenia) Alpine Skiing; Li Na (China) Tennis: Serena Williams (US) Tennis.
Laureus World Team of the Year
European Ryder Cup Team (Golf); Germany Men’s Football Team; Mercedes AMG Petronas Team (Germany); Real Madrid Football Team (Spain); San Antonio Spurs (US) Basketball; Switzerland Davis Cup Team (Tennis).
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award
Marin Cilic (Croatia) Tennis; Mario Götze (Germany) Football; Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Motor Racing; James Rodriguez (Colombia) Football; Mikaela Shiffrin (US) Alpine Skiing; Switzerland Davis Cup Team (Tennis).
Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award
Francesco Acerbi (Italy) Football; Schalk Burger (South Africa) Rugby; Diego Milito (Argentina) Football; Jo Pavey (UK) Athletics; Pierre Vaultier (France) Snowboarding; Oliver Wilson (UK) Golf.
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Shelley Gautier (Canada) Cycling; Tatyana McFadden (US) Wheelchair Racing; Roman Petushkov (Russia) Nordic Skiing; Anna Schaffelhuber (Germany) Alpine Skiing; Sarah Storey (UK) Cycling; Leung Yuk Wing (Hong Kong SAR China) Boccia.
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award
Alan Eustace (US) Skydiving; Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing; Nyjah Huston (US) Skateboarding; Sage Kotsenburg (US) Snowboarding; Danny MacAskill (UK) Trials Cycling; Gabriel Medina (Brazil) Surfing.
For more detailed biographies of Nominees, click here.
Among the sporting greats who have previously been named as winners of Laureus Awards over the last 15 years have been Usain Bolt, Sebastian Coe, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Kelly Holmes, Yao Ming, Rafael Nadal, Pelé, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Shaun White, Serena Williams, Liu Xiang and Zinedine Zidane.
Guests who have attended previous Awards Ceremonies in the past have included David and Victoria Beckham, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jackie Chan, Thandie Newton, Clive Owen and Eva Longoria.
Click here for more news about the Laureus World Sports Awards 2015

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Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three core elements - the Laureus World Sports Academy, Laureus Sport for Good and the Laureus World Sports Awards - which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and use sport as the means to promote social change. The first Patron of Laureus was Nelson Mandela. At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, he said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” This has become the philosophy of Laureus; the driving force behind its work. The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy are: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Cafu, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Yaping Deng, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, Mick Doohan, David Douillet, Rahul Dravid, Luis Figo, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick (Chairman), Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Häkkinen, Tony Hawk, Maria Höfl-Riesch, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Tegla Loroupe, Dan Marino, Yao Ming, Edwin Moses, Nawal El Moutawakel, Li Na, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexey Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Brian O’Driscoll, Alessandro Del Piero, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Carles Puyol, Raúl, Steve Redgrave, Vivian Richards, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Sachin Tendulkar, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba, Steve Waugh, Katarina Witt, Li Xiaopeng and Yang Yang. The Laureus Academy Members volunteer their services as global ambassadors for Laureus Sport for Good, which was set up to promote the use of sport as a tool for social change. Laureus Sport for Good addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €100 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people. The mission of Laureus Sport for Good is to use sport as a means to combat some of the toughest social challenges facing young people today such as violence and crime, discrimination, unemployment, lack of education and health threats including HIV/AIDS and obesity. The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury – 60 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today. The Awards are presented at an annual Awards Ceremony, attended by global figures from sport and entertainment, which is broadcast to 160 countries and territories. The Awards continue to support Laureus Sport for Good by showcasing the incredible work it does with athletes and partners to transform the lives of individuals and promoting to a global audience the power of sport as a development tool to combat challenging social issues. Laureus was founded by its Patrons Richemont and Daimler and is supported by its Global Partners Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen. Mercedes-BenzMercedes-Benz is the inventor of the automobile – and has been passionately shaping its future since 1886. As pioneers in automotive engineering, it is both our inspiration and responsibility to continue the tradition of the brand with trailblazing technologies and high-quality products. Like no other trademark in the automotive world, Mercedes-Benz appeals to both the hearts and minds of its customers. We give our very best for customers who expect the very best. Since the founding fathers Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, our corporate history has been one of innovation and pioneering achievements. Many technical innovations that are nowadays standard in automobiles first entered the market in a Mercedes-Benz. This is the basis for our claim to leadership in automotive engineering. The brand stands for Modern Luxury, and enjoys an outstanding reputation for quality, safety, comfort, design and comprehensive, sustainable mobility. IWC SchaffhausenWith a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design. As an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports institutions around the globe in their work with children and young people and maintains partnerships with organisations dedicated to climate and environmental protection.

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I wish I could have had all those guys in my teams, but I am delighted they are with me now and showing their support for Laureus, which is not just about the Awards, but about the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Laureus Ambassador Fabio Capello