Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star Neymar has revealed Kobe Bryant’s death took a toll on him as he shared a personal relationship with the NBA legend.
The forward was one of the many athletes outside of basketball who paid tribute to Bryant, who was killed along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other individuals in a helicopter crash in late January. Neymar wore a jersey in honor of the 2008 NBA MVP and dedicated a goal to him by holding up two fingers on one hand and four on the other to denote Bryant’s No.24 during a win over Ligue 1 side Lille in February.
The two sports icons had met several times over the years, with Bryant known to be a huge football fan and Neymar also quite fond of basketball.
“His death affected me a lot because our lives had much in common,” the PSG star told Vogue Men Arabia recently (H/T Goal.com).
“I met Kobe personally and the times he came to Paris. When you meet the person behind the athlete, it creates a different relationship and with Kobe, it was very special. Sports and society lost a great guy.”
Kobe was 41 at the time of his death. He’s survived by his wife Vanessa and three other daughters, Natalia, Bianka and Capri.