CR7, Messi lead tributes to Kobe Bryant

first_imgRelatedPosts Barca president Bartomeu says he won’t go to war anymore with Messi Messi scores twice in Barca friendly Messi becomes football’s second billionaire + Top 10 Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the many, many footballers to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant after the NBA legend and his daughter were among nine killed in a tragic helicopter crash in California on Sunday. Aged just 41, Kobe – a basketball icon but with a legend that transcended all of sport – was among the eight passengers who died when a private helicopter crashed in Calabasas. Also on board was his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. The pair were believed to be enroute to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for a practice session. Another player and their parent are also among those confirmed dead after the incident, though their names have not been released. Kobe was only pictured courtside with Gianna for the Los Angeles Lakers’ defeat to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, in which LeBron James surpassed Bryant to become the third-highest scorer in NBA history. A five-time champion and two-time Finals MVP, Kobe – who was also named MVP once – is one of the sport’s best ever players. He was named an All-Star 18 times from 20 seasons, all of which he spent with the Lakers, ending his career with the No 8 and No 24 jerseys retired at Staples Center as a result of his efforts. The passing of such a sporting icon has rocked hundreds of millions of sports fans worldwide, with footballers past and present among those to remember Kobe en masse, with Bryant having been a massive fan of football himself. Barcelona star Messi, writing on his official Instagram account, said: “I have no words… all my love for Kobe’s family and friends. “It was a pleasure to meet you and share good times together. You were a genius like few others.”Tags: Cristiano RonaldoGianna BryantKobe BryantLionel Messilast_img read more