Geeking Over 58-Year-Old Legend, ‘Kobe Bryant of Soccer’ Gets Mind Blown by Black Mamba Over His Boyhood Idols And Favorite Clubs

Published 09/21/2023, 10:09 AM EDT

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In an entertaining interview that transcended sports, Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba, sat down with a legendary soccer striker. Their topic of conversation? The mutual passion for sports heroes they share from their childhoods. While we are all well aware of the incredible basketball legacy of Kobe, few know of his love for the beautiful game.

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Notably, Bryant took to the sport during his youth in Italy. It was there that soccer club AC Milan caught his eye.

Kobe Bryant shared his soccer idol with a French legend

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The Black Mamba touched upon favorite soccer team, AC Milan, showing the beautiful game’s deep roots within his life and childhood. Sitting alongside him was a French soccer legend who Bryant himself had described as the “Kobe Bryant of fútbol”. The great, Thierry Henry and Kobe Bryant discussed soccer 7 years ago. It was then that they discovered an idol they shared in common.

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In the interview, Thierry Henry, widely considered as one of the game’s modern masters, spoke about the love Kobe had for football. “Did you have some kind of a football hero?” asked the 46-year-old Frenchman.

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The Los Angeles Lakers legend had his answer ready. With a smile, he revealed, “Absolutely, it was Marco van Basten.”

Kobe Bryant, who lived his formative years in Italy, spoke about his unconditional love for Marco van Basten. The 58-year-old played for Ajax and Milan, and in 2004, 9 years after retiring, became his national soccer team’s head coach.

The Dutch striker lit up soccer world in the late ‘80s with his grace and goal-scoring prowess. Van Basten was also Henry’s ideal version of a center forward: someone who could both score and make plays.

This exchange between the two sporting behemoths touched upon their mutual admiration for The Swan of Utrecht.

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Kobe’s Italian upbringing comes out

The interview turned into a nostalgic journey. Kobe Bean reminisced about his time in Italy where the Rossoneri, AC Milan and Marco van Basten, captured his heart. Bryant was in Italy during the era of van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard, Maldini, and Baresi; the best soccer period for anyone.

As the conversation progressed, Kobe playfully assumed an Italian accent, reminiscing on his good old days in Italy.

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His passion for the club, its players and the game itself epitomized the lasting power of sport to captivate hearts and overcome divides. Here was a glimpse into that collective passion of two titans of sport, with Kobe Bryant’s love for soccer and Marco van Basten’s insuperable impact at the heart of it all.

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Written by:

Abhinav Tomar

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Abhinav Singh Tomar is an NBA author at EssentiallySports. He translates his love for the game into captivating coverage. A true hoop enthusiast and a fan of all sports, he brings the court to life with his insightful writing skills.
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Edited by:

Aakash Nair

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