Messi, Ronaldo, global soccer reacts to Kobe Bryant, daughter deaths

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Soccer world mourns the death of Kobe Bryant (2:42)

Gab Marcotti reflects on Kobe Bryant's love for soccer as players and clubs pay tribute to the NBA legend. (2:42)

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among several people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday, a source confirmed to ESPN. Bryant was 41.

Drafted 13th overall in 1996 out of Lower Merion High School outside of Philadelphia, Bryant was a five-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA Finals MVP and the 2008 NBA MVP. The 18-time All Star retired in 2016 after 20 seasons in the league, all with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were among many in the global football community that paid tribute to Bryant and his daughter.

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It's taken me hours to work out what to write and still my words won't ever be enough to describe how I am feeling after the tragic loss of Kobe. This was one special athlete, husband, father and friend. Having to write these words is hard enough but also knowing we have lost an amazing human being and his beautiful and talented daughter Gianna is heartbreaking. The commitment Kobe showed to his sport was inspiring, to go through the pain and to finish a game off like only he could inspired me to try to be better. Sometimes I would only go to games just to watch that clock go down to the last 2:00 minutes knowing that we were about to witness something special. Kobe always talked about Vanessa and his beautiful girls and how proud he was of them. Kobe's passion was his family and basketball. He was determined to inspire the next generation of boys and girls to embrace the sport that he loved. His legacy will live on. My family's love and prayers go out to Vanessa and the girls, to Kobe's basketball family, and of course to the families of those who were tragically lost with him yesterday... 💛💜

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