Argentina and Barcelona icon, Lionel Messi is widely considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, if not the greatest - with the striker winning a number of professional and individual honours, including a record six Ballon d'Or awards.

The 32-year-old added another honour to his kitty on Monday night, when he was awarded the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award, an honour he shared with Formula One superstar, Lewis Hamilton.

Messi and Hamilton tied for first place in voting by the former sports greats who make up the members of the Laureus Academy. The Argentinian who was not at the event as Barcelona are currently busy with football, apologised for not being there to collect his award.

"I apologise I was not able to come to the event tonight. I really wanted to be there for every but unfortunately I could not make it. I would like to thank the Academy for giving me this recognition. The truth is that this is a very special award and I am honoured to be the first to win this from a team sport. Thank you very much," he said as per​ Dailymail.

This is the first time that Messi has won the award and he creates history by becoming the first footballer to be awarded the honour, with the winners list dominated by athletes from Tennis in the past.