Neymar pays tribute to Kobe Bryant with goal celebration after learning of NBA legend’s death at half-time during PSG’s defeat of Lille, before saying: ‘This is a time of immense sadness for the world of sport’
- Neymar paid his respects to Kobe Bryant by celebrating a goal in his honour
- Bryant, his daughter and three others died in a helicopter crash on Sunday
- Neymar opened the scoring in Lille with a fine first-half strike into top corner
- PSG were awarded a penalty after Reinildo Mandava handled in the box
- Neymar converted from 12 yards and made a gesture to honour the NBA icon
Neymar has paid tribute to Kobe Bryant after one of basketball’s greatest ever players died in a tragic helicopter crash on Sunday.
The news broke shortly before PSG’s 2-0 Ligue 1 victory over Lille but Neymar was informed of the terrible news during the half-time interval.
And once the Brazilian scored his second goal of the game from the penalty spot he approached the cameras to signal the number 24 with his fingers; the number Bryant wore on his Los Angeles Lakers jersey.
The 27-year-old also pointed to the heavens as he walked back to the halfway line with his PSG team-mates.
At full-time Neymar told reporters: ‘I looked at the messages at half-time. This is a time of immense sadness for the world of sport. Not just basketball fans. I knew him. This celebration was for him. I hope he rests in peace.’
Neymar dedicates a goal to Kobe Bryant as he gestures the number 24 to the cameras
The Brazilian forward points to the heavens in honour of late NBA icon Bryant
Kobe tragically died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning with his daughter Gianna
Neymar scores a penalty shortly after half-time to double PSG’s lead over Lille
Kylian Mbappe comes close to getting on the scoresheet as PSG go 10 points clear at the top