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":
Siempre es triste escuchar que un deportista se va a retirar. Pero Kobe Bryant quedará en la historia como uno de los más grandes y quien hizo con su magia que me interesara este deporte. Toda la suerte del mundo en tu nueva etapa Kobe.// It's always sad to hear when a sportsman is retiring. But @kobebryant will always be in the history books as one of the greatest. It was he who helped me become interested in basketball. All the best in the next stage of your life, Kobe.
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: