The All Blacks may have gone almost 16 months unbeaten but they suffered a rare defeat by the hands of a German football team at the Laureus Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur overnight.

The All Blacks, who became the first national rugby team to go unbeaten in the professional era, lost out to European football champions Bayern Munich for the sports team of the year category.

Barely 24 hours after they were crowned German champions for a 24th time with a record seven games to spare. Other nominees were the Brazil men's football team, history-making doubles tennis pair Bob and Mike Bryan, NBA champions the Miami Heat and Red Bull Motor Racing.

Multiple-time world champion swimmer Sophie Pascoe also missed out on award after being nominated for Sportsperson with a disability, which was won by French skiier Marie Bochet - a four time gold medalist in Sochi. Pascoe won four golds at the IPC World Championships last year.


Four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel can add another trophy to his already-full mantel after being named the Laureus world sportsman of the year.

The 26-year-old claimed top honours on Wednesday night at a scaled-back ceremony in Kuala Lumpur out of respect for those affected by the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

Vettel, who clinched his fourth successive title with Red Bull in 2013 aged 26, edged out three-time winner and Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt, multiple NBA MVP LeBron James of Miami Heat, Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, Real Madrid's goal-scoring machine Cristiano Ronaldo and athlete Mo Farah of Britain.

American swimmer Missy Franklin was crowned the youngest ever world sportswoman of the year, thanks to the 18-year-old's record six gold-medal haul at the 2013 world championships.

She beat out previous winners Serena Williams and Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, as well as Slovenian skier Tina Maze, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Brisbane Roar's own W-League star Nadine Angerer who was recently named FIFA Women's Player of the Year.

Meanwhile British BMX rider Jamie Bestwick edged out Australian surfer Mick Fanning to win Action Sports Person of the Year, while fellow Queenslander Adam Scott was also denied a victory with MotoGP sensation Marc Marquez winning Breakthrough of the Year.

Nadal, 2013 French Open and US Open winner, took out Comeback of the Year.

Winners are chosen by the Laureus World Sports Academy, a panel made up of 46 sporting greats.

World Sportsman Of The Year
Sebastian Vettel (Germany) - Formula One

World Sportswoman Of The Year
Missy Franklin (US) - Swimming

World Team Of The Year
Bayern Munich (Germany) - Football

World Breakthrough Of The Year
Marc Marquez (Spain) - MotoGP

World Comeback Of The Year
Rafael Nadal (Spain) - Tennis

World Sportsperson Of The Year With A Disability
Marie Bochet (France) - Skiing

World Action Sportsperson Of The Year
Jamie Bestwick (UK) - BMX

- with AAP