Back then, Neymar paid tribute to the basketball legend by sporting his jersey
“His death affected me a lot because our lives had much in common,” Neymar told Vogue Men Arabia.
“I met Kobe personally and the times he came to Paris. When you meet the person behind the athlete, it creates a different relationship and with Kobe, it was very special. Sports and society lost a great guy.”
Neymar, who continues to be linked with a return to former club Barcelona, has been hampered by injuries since joining PSG in a world-record €222million transfer in 2017.
“There is nothing worse for a professional athlete than an injury,” the Brazilian forward added.
“I really suffered with injuries these last two seasons and I had many moments of questioning myself. Half of the success of an athlete is the mind. If the mind is good, the game flows more naturally.”
Five-time NBA champion, Bryant, spent part of his childhood in Milan, Italy, and was a lifelong supporter of AC Milan.