Messi’s tribute to Kobe Bryant

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Footballing great Lionel Messi wrote a heartfelt tribute message to fellow sporting legend Kobe Bryant.

In a post on his Instagram account, Messi paid tribute to the five-time NBA champion, who announced recently he would be retiring at the end of the current NBA season.

Messi credited Bryant for sparking his own interest in basketball, calling him "one of the greatest":


Messi and Bryant have history together, having starred together in a series of popular commercials.

There was the famous selfie shootout:

And who can forget this battle for a kid's attention aboard an airplane: