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Ronaldo, Serena nominated for 2015 Laureus awards

Shanghai, Feb 11: Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and 19-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams are in contention for the 2015 Laureus sportsman and sportswoman year of the year awards, respectively.

The organisers revealed the nominations for the prestigious awards here Wednesday. The awards will be declared April 15 after a ballot by the world's media.

Striker Ronaldo, who helped Real Madrid capture Champions League title, will be up against some ferocious contenders. Last year he was beaten by Sebastian Vettel. 

This time the Portugal football team captain faces Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, talismanic golfer Rory McIlroy, tennis World No.1 Novak Djokovic, Spain’s World MotoGP champion Marc Márquez and pole vault world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France.

The impact of the FIFA World Cup is felt in the Breakthrough of the Year category where Germany’s Mario Götze, who scored the winning goal in the final. Colombia’s James Rodriguez, winner of the Golden Boot as leading scorer, will challenge the German.

In the sportswoman of the year category, retired Chinese tennis queen Li Na and current World No.1 Serena have been nominated.

Li retired in October last year and is now now pregnant with her first child.

Her former rival and Serena will be hoping for her record-equalling fourth Award.

Among the other nominees in this category are Winter Olympic gold medallists Tina Maze and Marit Bjorgen.