Berlin: Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar recalled former South African president late Nelson Mandela after receiving the Laureus Sporting Moment Award at a glittering ceremony in Berlin on Monday night (February 17).

Laureus World Sports Awards 2020 were presented in the German capital and Tendulkar won one of the awards. His iconic image of being carried on the shoulders of his teammates after India won the 2011 World Cup in Mumbai, was voted as the best sporting moment of past 20 years (2000-2020).

Also read: Sachin Tendulkar wins in Berlin

After receiving the award from former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh, Tendulkar delivered an inspiring speech.

“I had the honour of meeting the great man in South Africa, president Nelson Mandela, when I was only 19. His hardship did not affect his leadership. Out of many big messages that he left behind with us, the most important I felt was that sport has got the power to unite, unify everyone,” the 46-year-old Tendulkar said.

Also read: Full list of Laureus award winners

He added, “Today sitting in this room with so many great athletes, some of them did not have the best of everything but they made the best of everything they had, and they have gone on to become champion athletes. I want to thank all of them for inspiring youngsters to pick a sport of their choice and chase their dream. Today, I feel, this trophy belongs to all of us for having inspired youngsters and it's not just about me.”

On winning the 2011 World Cup, Tendulkar, the holder of many cricket records, said, “It's incredible. The feeling of winning the world cup was beyond what words can express. How many times you get an event happening where there are no mixed opinions. Very rarely the entire country celebrates, Tendulkar said after receiving the trophy.

“And this is a reminder of how powerful a sport is and what magic it does to our lives. Even now when I watch that it has stayed with me.”

Tendulkar said he was inspired by Kapil Dev’s men winning the 1983 World Cup for India. “My journey started in 1983 when I was 10 years old. India had won the World Cup. I did not understand the significance and just because everybody was celebrating, I also joined the party.

“But somewhere I knew something special has happened to the country and I wanted to experience it one day and that's how my journey began.

“It was the proudest moment of my life, holding that trophy which I chased for 22 years but I never lost hope. I was merely lifting that trophy on behalf of my countrymen,” Tendulkar, who played in a record 200 Tests and 463 ODIs, said.