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Kobe Bryant played in his last NBA game on Wednesday night dropping in 60 points against the Utah Jazz on the way to a rare Lakers win this season. And prior to the final curtain call many soccer players were paying tribute to the 37-year-old who loves soccer maybe as much as basketball.

His respect and passion for the game developed when he lived in Italy as his father played professional basketball. His fandom carried on throughout his NBA career as an avid AC Milan, his boyhood club, and FC Barcelona, his adopted club, fan and Ronaldinho supporter. This admiration and fandom was not one sided however.

Related Article: Kobe Bryant’s Love for Soccer Will Continue after NBA Retirement

On the night of his final game praises flooded the internet from some of soccer’s biggest stars and teams. Players from Tim Howard, Thierry Henry, and David Beckham to Axel Witsel, Mesuit Ozil, and Neymar all posted tweets and pictures in admiration of the sixty point performance in his final night of a distinguished career.

Legends live forever. Thank you Kobe #mamba

A photo posted by Tim Howard (@timhow1) on

Heros come and go, but legends are forever. @kobebryant , you are eternal… Thanks for everything !!

A photo posted by Nj ?? ? neymarjr (@neymarjr) on

Thank you. #legend #60points #mambaout ???

A photo posted by Axel Witsel (@axelwitsel28) on

FC Barcelona posted a tribute video honoring him leading up to the game, FC Bayern, AC Milan, and the USA WNT all paid their respects to the legend as well. This sort of recognition is profound and speaks to the level within athletics, arguably the highest ever, Kobe has reached.

Thanks @KobeBryant. Your greatness was bigger than basketball. #Mambaday

A photo posted by FC Barcelona (@fcbarcelona) on

NO WORDS NEEDED … It’s goodbye from the man… @kobebryant @lakers @lagalaxy

A photo posted by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on

Congratulations to Los Angeles legend @kobebryant on an amazing career. ? #ThankYouKobe

A photo posted by LA Galaxy (@lagalaxy) on

Legend.

A photo posted by Robert Lewandowski (@_rl9) on

Unprecedented but certainly earned, Kobe Bryant’s recognition outside of basketball by some of the world’s most recognizable names and organizations is truly special.

What other soccer players have you seen making tributes to Kobe Bryant and his career?

 

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