'A true inspiration' - Football stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant after basketball hero dies in helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant LA Lakers
Players and clubs expressed their sadness after the 41-year-old and four other people died in the crash on Sunday morning

The world has been shaken by the news that basketball legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash at the age of 41.

The former LA Lakers star was flying over California when, according to TMZ, a fire started and caused the helicopter to spiral and crash.

Reports say nobody on board the helicopter survived the crash with all five passengers dying in the tragic accident, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

Bryant, who has long been regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, won five NBA Championships in his illustrious 20-year long career with the Lakers.

He was also an NBA All-Star 18 times and was crowned the league's Most Valuable Player among many other accolades.

In addition to his basketball achievements, Bryant was a massive football fan. The former Laker famously supported AC Milan while also participating in commercials alongside the likes of Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi.

The passing of the icon has left the sporting world in mourning, with many footballers and clubs expressing their grief.

The likes of Barcelona star Lionel Messi, Juventus attacker Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentina icon Diego Maradona and Manchester City attacker Sergio Aguero were among those who took to social media to pay tribute to the world-famous athlete.


🖤😢 #PrayingForTheBryantFamily

Een bericht gedeeld door Memphis Depay (@memphisdepay) op


I still can’t believe it. 💔 All my support to the family. 🙏

Een bericht gedeeld door Carles Puyol (@carles5puyol) op


😣 Rest In Peace 😢 Prayers To His Family.. #8 #24 blackmamba #Legend 🐐

Een bericht gedeeld door Alex Lacazette (@lacazettealex) op


Speechless 😶 and shocked!! REST IN HEAVEN MAMBA 🙏🏾

Een bericht gedeeld door Kevin Prince Boateng (@princeboateng) op