Neymar dedicated his second goal in Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-0 win at Lille on Sunday to basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died on Sunday in a helicopter crash.
The Brazilian forward slotted home the 52nd-minute penalty that put PSG two goals up in the French Ligue 1 clash and went over to the television cameras by the side of the Stade Pierre Mauro pitch to make the number 24 with his fingers in honour of Bryant’s shirt number.
“It’s deeply saddening for the world of sport and for all of us,” said Neymar to Canal+ after the win, which put PSG 10 points clear at the top of the league.
“Not just for basketball fans, but for everything he did for sport.”
Neymar honors Kobe after scoring tonight at Lille and raising the 24. A symbol of the collective grief pouring out around globe for Kobe and a reminder, as Larkin said “we should be careful of each other, we should be kind, while there is still time” ?pic.twitter.com/AxAhSaXql9
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) January 26, 2020
Bryant, who had been nominated for the NBA Hall of Fame in December, was confirmed dead at 41 years old on Sunday after a helicopter crashed and burst into flames in foggy conditions in suburban Los Angeles, leaving five people dead.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said there were no survivors from the morning crash on a rugged hillside in Calabasas, west of LA.
Following his passing, tributes have poured in from across sports and pop culture, with many celebrating the extraordinary life and career of the Black Mamba.