Kobe Bryant death: Soccer superstars Messi, Ronaldo and Ramos pay tribute to 'genius' NBA legend

NBA legend Kobe Bryant died on Sunday morning in a helicopter crash at 41. The former Los Angeles Lakers superstar and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in the crash. The tragic news had a worldwide impact, and soccer superstars were among those who paid tribute to Bryant. 

On Sunday, Neymar honored Bryant by flashing the number 24 with his fingers after scoring a goal. More global soccer stars have since memorialized Bryant. Real Madrid held a moment of silence on Monday for Bryant before the team's training session. The session also saw captain Sergio Ramos sport Bryant's team USA jersey.

Take a look:

Real Madrid released the following statement with the photo:

Real Madrid held a minute's silence before training at Real Madrid City [the] after tragic death of a sporting legend: Kobe Bryant. Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos wore a jersey of the former NBA player as a tribute.

One of Ramos' biggest rivals, Barca star Lionel Messi, posted his thoughts late on Sunday:

"I don't have words," Messi wrote. "All of my love for the family and friends of Kobe. It was a pleasure getting to know him and share good moments together. A genius like few others has left us."

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo also reacted on Instagram and shared his condolences to the family and friends of the victims of the crash.

Bryant's death was a shocking tragedy that will sting for a long time across the sports world. For more reactions from some of the world's top athletes, including from Bill Russell, Tom Brady, Dirk Nowitzki and others, click here.

CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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