Soccer community honors Kobe Bryant after tragic death
Tottenham Hotspur FC / Getty

The death of NBA icon Kobe Bryant sent shockwaves throughout the sports world on Sunday, extending well beyond the basketball community.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning in Calabasas, California. He was 41 years old.

Gianna, Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, also died in the accident that claimed the lives of all nine people on board, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Sports figures from across the globe honored Bryant, including those in the soccer world. He was a noted fan of the game, supporting AC Milan and Barcelona.

Among those to pay tribute was Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar, who celebrated a goal in Sunday's win over Lille with a special "24" message, referencing Bryant's jersey number.

"I saw the messages (about Bryant) on social media at halftime," Neymar said post-match, according to ESPN. "It's a big sadness for the world of sport and for all of us, not just the basketball fans. I knew him and I did this celebration for him. I hope he will rest in peace."

Clubs and players alike also expressed their condolences to the Bryant family while remembering Kobe's impact on the sporting world.

"I have no words ... All my love for Kobe's family and friends," Lionel Messi wrote on Instagram, as Goal.com translated. "It was a pleasure to meet you and share good times together. You were a genius like few others."

"So sad to hear the heartbreaking news of the deaths of Kobe and his daughter Gianna," Cristiano Ronaldo wrote on Instagram. "Kobe was a true legend and inspiration to so many. Sending my condolences to his family and friends and the families of all who lost their lives in the crash. RIP Legend."

Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku tweeted a photo of Gianna in the wake of confirmation that she was among those who died. The Bryants, along with the other passengers on board, were on their way to a basketball game when the helicopter crashed, according to ESPN.

"My biggest sports idol is this man right here," Lukaku wrote on Instagram, speaking of Kobe. "Your work ethic and mentality inspired me so much from as soon I understood what it took to become a pro. You were enjoying your new chapter in your life and to leave us just like that is devastating. I love you so much. You the goat."

Comments
Soccer community honors Kobe Bryant after tragic death
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
MORE STORIES
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox