THE European Ryder Cup team has been named World Team of the Year at the prestigious Laureus Sports Awards.
The team, who staged an incredible comeback at last year’s Ryder Cup final, faced stiff competition to take the title at the Rio de Janeiro award ceremony on Monday.
Other teams nominated to scoop the sports gong included Spain’s national football team, American basketball stars Miami Heat, the Red Bull Formula One team and China’s Olympic table tennis players.
The European squad, captained by Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal, came back from 10-6 down to beat the United States 14½-13½ at Medinah.
“This is truly special, thank you very much to Laureus,” said English team member Ian Poulter at the award ceremony.
“This means an awful lot to everybody at the Ryder Cup team. With the legends in sport who have voted for us, it truly is a special trophy to put our hands on,” he added.
Laureus World Sports Academy official Gary Player added: “That was an unbelievable final day at the Ryder Cup. I confess I did not think Europe could do it, but the determination the team showed was sensational.
“Seve (Ballesteros), who did so much to revive The Ryder Cup, would have been so proud of them.”
British favourite Jessica Ennis, who won gold in the heptathlon in the 2012 Olympics, was awarded World Sportswoman of the Year while Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt scooped the title in the men’s category.