SPORTS WRAP: Weekend sporting highlights

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Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger will leave the Premier League club when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Team manager Thomas Tuchel made it public after his team’s one-nil win over West Ham United on Sunday, a match the German player missed due to injury.

Reports have it that the German international defender has signed a lucrative four-year contract with Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Sanctions imposed by the British government on Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich, following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine have left the club in limbo ahead of the impending sale.

The club can not hand out contracts or buy new players.

The 29-year old, who joined from Italian side AS Roma in 2017, has been on Spanish giants Real Madrid’s radar for some time.

Rudiger won the FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup with the London side.

His fellow defenders, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen, are also out of contract at the end of the season.

Final bids for the club, which was put up for sale by Abramovich, were submitted earlier this month with several high-profile names hoping to buy the team.

Meanwhile, Formula One champion, Max Verstappen, was named the 2022 Laureus Sportsman of the Year at the digital awards ceremony in Seville, Spain last night.

Verstappen became the first Dutch driver to win the world championship after clinching his maiden crown by beating seven-times winner, Britain Lewis Hamilton, in Abu Dhabi in December.

The Dutchman says last year was very special for him.

Verstappen says, “I mean, it was a very special year for me, but you know, I couldn’t do this without my team behind me. You know, all the people back at the factory, and as you can hear here at the track as well, you know, it’s an incredible effort from everyone, you know, that we won the championship.”

Meanwhile, Olympic sprint champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, clinched the top women’s award. The Jamaican became the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic sprint doubles when she retained her 100 and 200 metres titles in Tokyo last year.

Polish striker, Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich, won the Exceptional Achievement award after scoring a German Bundesliga record of 41 goals last season to break Gerd Muller’s 49-year-old record. The Polish striker says it’s an honour for him to be recognized…

Lewandowski says, “ I would like to thank laureus academy for the award. It really means a lot to be recognized and appreciated by such wonderful people, athletes, legends from all over the world of sport.”

British teenager, Emma Raducanu, won the Breakthrough of the Year award after her fairytale New York triumph in September when she claimed the US Open tennis title as a qualifier. – Reporting by: Vincent Sitsula