Messi captained Argentina, scored seven times and won the Golden Ball as his country won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in December.
He is the first athlete to win the team and individual awards in the same year.
Sportswoman of the year went to Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
She won the women's 100m world title at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in July, becoming the first person to win five golds in an individual track event at the championships.
"This is a special honour," said Paris St-Germain forward Messi, 35. "Particularly as the Laureus World Sports Awards are in Paris this year, the city that has welcomed my family since we came here in 2021.
"I want to thank all my team-mates, not only from the national team but also at PSG - I have achieved none of this alone and I am grateful to be able to share everything with them."
Fraser-Pryce's 100m gold came 13 years after her first and the 36-year-old has more world sprint titles than any other athlete.
She ran a sub-10.7-seconds 100m seven times in 2022, three more than the previous best for a female sprinter in a calendar year.
"I was thrilled to be nominated alongside such inspiring women athletes, and to win this award, voted for by some of the greatest sportsmen and women of all time, is just amazing," she said.
"This is the sixth time I've been nominated in this category, so to finally hold the Laureus statuette in my hands is one of the greatest honours of my career."
Argentina lifted the World Cup for the third time, beating France in a penalty shootout in Doha after possibly the greatest final of all time, which ended in a 3-3 draw.
New Zealand para swimmer and wheelchair rugby player Cameron Leslie was a finalist for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.
Full awards list
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award: Lionel Messi
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Laureus World Team of the Year award: Argentina men's football team
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award: Carlos Alcaraz
Laureus World Comeback of the Year award: Christian Eriksen
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability award: Catherine Debrunner
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year award: Eileen Gu
Laureus Sport for Good award: TeamUp (A programme for children displaced by war by Barcelona and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski)