Top Spanish award for Schumacher

MADRID - Germany's seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher was awarded one of Spain's highest honours yesterday, the Prince of Asturias prize for sports, organisers said.

MADRID - Germany's seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher was awarded one of Spain's highest honours yesterday, the Prince of Asturias prize for sports, organisers said.

Schumacher, 38, was chosen because his record "had turned him into a sports legend and the racer who has won the most trophies in the history of the sport" as well as for his charity work, said the jury that awards the sports prize.

"His generosity with the poor has transcended the borders of his country, a fact which was taken into account by the jury," it added in a statement.

Schumacher gave ß1,15 million to UN cultural organisation Unesco in 2005 and $10 million one year later to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in southeast Asia, the jury noted.

After winning two championships with Benetton, Schumacher moved to Ferrari in 1996 where he won five consecutive drivers' titles with them. He retired last year but occasionally still works for the Ferrari team.

Schumacher beat 17 other candidates for the prize, including Iraq's national football team, which won the Asian Cup for the first time in history earlier this year, and a joint candidacy by tennis aces Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It was awarded to Spain's national basketball team last year. - Sapa-AFP

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