Sport's big winners of 2023 – in pictures

Man City, Novak Djokovic and Simone Biles celebrate huge success this year

Manchester City: men's football

Manchester City players celebrated the treble with a bus parade

After beating Inter Milan 1-0 in the final of the Uefa Champions League in June, Man City "finally won the trophy they craved", said Richard Martin on Goal. Completing the historic treble – Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup – Pep Guardiola's side were "undisputably the best team in Europe". Later in the year City also added the Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup to their 2023 trophy haul.  

(Image credit: Ioannis Alexopoulos/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic: men's tennis

Novak Djokovic kisses the trophy after winning the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic showed he has "no intention of slowing down", said AFP, after capping "another incredible year" with his record-breaking seventh ATP Finals victory. The 36-year-old is still tennis's No. 1 men's player, "by a good margin", and racked up "a host of new records this season", including taking his grand slam tally to 24 and "finishing on top of the year-end world rankings for the eighth time". 

(Image credit: Giampiero Sposito/Getty Images)

Simone Biles: women's gymnastics

Simone Biles won four gold medals at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships

At the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, American star Simone Biles further cemented her status as "the most decorated gymnast in history", said CBS News. Back from a two-year post-Olympics break, the 26-year-old ended the championships with four gold medals and a record-extending 30 career world medals. Biles will be aiming to add to her seven Olympic medals in Paris in 2024. 

(Image credit: Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Spain: women's football

Spain beat England 1-0 to win the 2023 Fifa Women's World Cup

Against a "backdrop of turmoil and dispute", said Matias Grez on CNN, Spain's women footballers made history by winning the Fifa Women's World Cup for the first time. "La Roja" thrilled their fans and neutrals alike with some "scintillating performances" en route to beating England 1-0 in the final in Sydney, Australia. 

(Image credit: Julieta Ferrario/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Lionel Messi: men's football

Lionel Messi and his sons Thiago, Mateo and Ciro at the 2023 Ballon d'Or ceremony

Looking back on his illustrious career, Lionel Messi will never forget 2022, after "fulfilling his life's ambition" by leading Argentina to Fifa World Cup glory in Qatar, said The Associated Press. But 2023 has also brought a series of successes for the 36-year-old, including winning the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year title and a record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or. So the list reads "2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021, and now 2023".

(Image credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

South Africa: men's rugby union

Huge crowds in Durban welcomed South Africa's World Cup winners

South Africa became the first nation to win four men's Rugby World Cups. Beating New Zealand 12-11 in the final in Paris, the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup for the second successive tournament after a "phenomenal defensive effort", said The Associated Press. It was a display of "superb defending, grit and resilience". 

(Image credit: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

Australia: men's cricket

Australia captain Pat Cummins lifts the Cricket World Cup

Millions of Indians were "nursing broken hearts", said the BBC, after the national team lost the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup final against Australia in November. In the showpiece fixture at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the Aussies stunned more than 100,000 fans by winning by six wickets with seven overs left to play. Australia have now lifted the men's World Cup six times.

(Image credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

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Mike Starling is the digital features editor at The Week, where he writes content and edits the Arts & Life and Sport website sections and the Food & Drink and Travel newsletters. He started his career in 2001 in Gloucestershire as a sports reporter and sub-editor and has held various roles as a writer and editor at news, travel and B2B publications. He has spoken at a number of sports business conferences and also worked as a consultant creating sports travel content for tourism boards. International experience includes spells living and working in Dubai, UAE; Brisbane, Australia; and Beirut, Lebanon.