Basketball icon Kobe Bryant tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash on Sunday. The Los Angeles County sheriff, in a report, stated that nine people died in the collision, of which Bryant and his daughter Gianna were also casualties.
The NBA legend is revered as one of the greatest athletes not only in basketball but in all of sport. Bryant was named an All-Star a staggering 18 times out of a possible 20 during his time with the LA Lakers. He led the team to five championships.
Kobe Bryant has been an inspiration for many budding athletes due to his unparalleled athleticism, commitment and passion for the sport. Many footballers, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, paid homage to the basketballer shortly after the news of his death shocked the entire world.
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling was quick to pay condolence to the Lakers legend. Blues boss Pep Guardiola also posted a picture with Bryant on Twitter.
Liverpool centre-half and 2019 Ballon d'Or runner-up, Virgil van Dijk, was absolutely heartbroken after the news.
Football fans all over the world knew that Kobe Bryant was an ardent football supporter with Italian giants AC Milan being his favourite team. The Serie A club posted a heartwarming tweet, paying tribute to him.
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford, who is currently sidelined with a long-term back injury labelled Bryant as "a true inspiration" of sport.
Footballing legend and former Barcelona superstar Ronaldinho also posted a photo of him sitting with the basketballer on social media.
Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique were also deeply saddened by the tragic loss to the sport.
Goal posted a quote of the legendary sportsperson where he drew a comparison between the two sports of football and basketball.
And in what was perhaps the most fitting tribute that any footballer could have paid Bryant, Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar lifted his fingers to show his iconic shirt number "24" after scoring against Lille on Sunday.