By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The ESPY Award (short for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award) was started in 1993 by sports network ESPN to recognise individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performance via voting by the fans.
Messi held off comeptition from other sports stars like Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo, current world no. 2 Novak Djokovic and LPGA Championship winner Yani Tseng to add one more award to his already-bursting trophy cabinet with the Best International Athlete award.
Miami Heat star and NBA winner LeBron James was the big winner of the night, winning the Best Male Athlete, Best NBA Player and the Best Championship Performance awards on top of sharing a Best Team of the Year with the Miami Heat.
New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, of the 'Linsanity' fame, won the Best Breakthrough Athlete while Novak Djokovic won the Best Male Tennis Player award despite slipping off the no. 1 spot after the Wimbledon Championships.
LA Galaxy star David Beckham similiarly lost out on a place in the Team GB football squad but was chosen as the Best MLS Player award.
The ceremony, held in the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, was hosted by comedian Rob Riggle of 'The Hangover' fame and showcased tributes to stories away from the sporting field as well.
Record-breaking former Tennessee Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt was given the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for her battle against Alzheimer's Disease while former Rutgers American footballer Eric LeGrand was given the Jimmy Valvano Award for fighting a debilitating spinal cord injury that ended his playing career.
ESPYS Award Winners (Selected)
Best International Athlete:
Novak Djokovic, Tennis
Lionel Messi, Soccer (Winner)
Cristiano Ronaldo, Soccer
Yani Tseng, Golfer
Best Male Athlete:
Novak Djokovic, Tennis
LeBron James, NBA (Winner)
Aaron Rodgers, NFL
Justin Verlander, MLB
Best Female Athlete:
Brittney Griner, Baylor Basketball (Winner)
Maria Sharapova, Tennis
Lindsey Vonn, Alpine Skier
Abby Wambach, Soccer
Best Breakthrough Athlete: Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks
Best MLS Player: David Beckham, Los Angeles Galaxy
Best NBA Player: LeBron James, Miami Heat
Best Male Golfer: Bubba Watson
Best Female Golfer: Cristie Kerr
Best Male Tennis Player: Novak Djokovic
Best Female Tennis Player: Maria Sharapova
Best Team of the Year: Miami Heat
Best Championship Performance: LeBron James
Arthur Ashe Courage Award: Pat Summitt
Jimmy Valvano Award for Perseverance: Eric LeGrand