Rosberg wins Laureus breakthrough prize
14 February 2017 – Reigning Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg received the 'World Breakthrough of the Year' prize at the Laureus Awards in Monaco on Tuesday.
Rosberg last year prevailed over Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to win the championship by five points, having won nine Grands Prix over the course of the season.
Rosberg faced competition from Olympics Almaz Ayana and Wayde van Niekerk, 2015/16 Premier League champions Leicester City, the Icelandic football team, and Fiji's Rugby Sevens squad.
Double Formula 1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi was present to hand Rosberg his trophy.
Previous recipients of the prize in the F1 world include Juan Pablo Montoya (2002), Lewis Hamilton (2008), Jenson Button (2010) and Daniel Ricciardo (2015).
"I grew up 40 metres from here in the building just next door," Rosberg said in his acceptance speech.
"I was 14 years old and standing on the balcony with the TV on, watching the awards, seeing Nelson Mandela on the TV [standing] on stage.
"Ever since then it has been my dream to stand up here one day, and it's unbelievable that tonight it's actually happened.
"I'm thankful to everybody who has been part of my success."
Mercedes, which guided Rosberg to the crown, received a third straight nomination for 'Team of the Year', having claimed the Constructors' Championship, with 19 wins from 21 races.
However, it once again missed out, with the award given to Chicago Cubs, after the team ended its 108-year wait to win Baseball's World Series.
Euro 2016 champions Portugal, Champions League winners Real Madrid, Brazil's gold medal-winning football team and NBA kings Cleveland Cavaliers were also nominated.
Mercedes missed out in 2015 to Germany's World Cup-winning football squad while last year the award was given to the All Blacks, after the team's third triumph in the Rugby World Cup.