Kobe Bryant will go down as one of the greatest basketball players to ever live when he retires at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season. However, it's not the only sport he loves. Bryant has also been vocal throughout his career about the appreciation for soccer he developed while growing up in Italy, where it is much more popular than basketball.
Most would agree that the rangy 6'6 wing obviously ended up making the right choice of which sport to pursue as his primary focus. Still, it was notable when Bryant was asked by Thierry Henry, a retired forward who last played for the New York Red Bulls but also spent time with Arsenal, Barcelona, Monaco, and Juventus, who he saw as the "Kobe Bryant of fútbol."
Bryant told Henry that he himself wouldn't be a bad choice, praising him for having the "same killer instinct" and the "same aggressive mentality" that Kobe demonstrated throughout his career. The Lakers posted video of the exchange between the two legends in their respective sports below:
Thierry Henry interviews Kobe and asks: "Who's the Kobe of football?"https://t.co/FAFwkvgnMP— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 4, 2016
Bryant has previously called soccer his favorite sport, so he probably has some idea of the types of players he would compare himself to. However, since your's truly has very little knowledge about soccer history, I thought it was better to ask Silver Screen and Roll podcast host and resident soccer expert, Anthony Irwin, for his thoughts on the comparison:
I guess [that comparison] makes some sense, yeah. Henry was always very skilled and rarely the most athletic player on the pitch when he played. Kobe and Messi have their friendship, but Messi's always reminded me more of Steph. Cristiano Ronaldo might come to mind for some, but LeBron is a more apt comparison, there. The more I think about it, Henry is a pretty great analogy.
Well there you have it folks. Henry is indeed the Kobe Bryant of soccer.
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