PSG forward Neymar scored in a 2-0 win and dedicated his goals to Kobe Bryant.
Paris Saint-Germain forward, Neymar scored twice against Lille as his team registered a 2-0 win in Ligue 1, but what grabbed everybody’s attention on the night was the fact that he dedicated his strikes to the NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, who sadly passed away in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning.
Bryant, a former LA Lakers star, was travelling with his daughter to basketball practice at his Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, and the helicopter, crashed outside the city of Calabasas, which is situated to the west of Los Angeles at around 10 am on Sunday.
The basketball legend’s sudden passing has understandably sent the world in shock, and Neymar was one amongst the millions. The Brazilian scored a penalty in the 52nd minute to double his side’s lead and in tribute, he held ‘24’ with his figures, which was Bryant’s jersey number for the LA Lakers.
Neymar throws up the 24 for Kobe 💜 pic.twitter.com/mPUveZpNA2
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 26, 2020
“I looked at the messages at half-time. This is a time of immense sadness for the world of sport. Not just basketball fans,” Neymar told Canal Plus after the match.
“I knew him. This celebration was for him. I hope he rests in peace.”
Neymar had met Bryant back in 2017 during a practice session.
Apart from Neymar, the rest of the footballing community came together to pay their wishes for greatest basketball player of all time.
So sad to hear the heartbreaking news of the deaths of Kobe and his daughter Gianna. 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💔 pic.twitter.com/qKb3oiDHxH
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) January 26, 2020
RIP LEGEND 😭🇺🇸🙏🏽... pic.twitter.com/kEQ99cRohO
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) January 26, 2020
Terrible. Muy triste. Mis pensamientos y oraciones contigo y tu familia. Descansa en paz. pic.twitter.com/Z55QGUxF0o
— Andrés Iniesta (@andresiniesta8) January 26, 2020
— Alisson Becker (@Alissonbecker) January 26, 2020
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) January 26, 2020
— Koulibaly Kalidou (@kkoulibaly26) January 26, 2020
True leyend. Hard to believe. We will miss you, Kobe. 😢🙏🏀💔 pic.twitter.com/wki95dtS9Q
— Luka Modrić (@lukamodric10) January 26, 2020
Hoje perdemos um dos maiores jogadores da história da NBA! Kobe, que Deus receba de braços abertos você e todos que, infelizmente, morreram nessa grande tragédia! 🙏🏽 #RipKobeBryant #24 pic.twitter.com/riy5IeGbaQ
— Thiago Silva (@tsilva3) January 26, 2020
I just can't believe it. My condolences to his wife and love ones. Speechless. My prayers for the people who lost their lives in this unfortunate accident. pic.twitter.com/JWaS46QIwO
— Radamel Falcao (@FALCAO) January 26, 2020
speechless 😪😪😪 pic.twitter.com/oEhbZwitUF
— Toni Kroos (@ToniKroos) January 26, 2020
Literally devastated to hear the news about @kobebryant, his daughter Gianna and all those on board the helicopter crash. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and also of the other victims. #RIP#INSPIRATION#LEGENDpic.twitter.com/6ZW3VrDqzn
— Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) January 26, 2020
Legends live forever 👑 A true inspiration to the world! Prayers are with Kobe’s family and everyone involved in this horrific tragedy. 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/ecxYN1ro8M
— Chris Smalling (@ChrisSmalling) January 26, 2020
Rest in peace Mamba pic.twitter.com/KpAtgtdqxm
— Arturo Vidal (@kingarturo23) January 26, 2020
Legend. #RIPKobe 🙏
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) January 26, 2020
A true inspiration in the sporting industry. RIP legend. 💔👑 pic.twitter.com/riqBbwRfDc
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) January 26, 2020
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Denis Charlet