Messi & Ronaldo pay tribute to Kobe Bryant who died in helicopter crash

Football stars Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo expressed their sadness after the 41-year-old and four other people died in the crash on Sunday morning

The world has been shaken by the news that basketball legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash at the age of 41.

The former LA Lakers star was flying over California when, according to TMZ, a fire started and caused the helicopter to spiral and crash.

Reports say nobody on board the helicopter survived the crash with all five passengers dying in the tragic accident, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

The likes of Barcelona star Lionel Messi, Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo were among those who took to social media to pay tribute to the world-famous athlete.

Ronaldo said on his Instagram: ‘So sad to hear the heartbreaking news of the deaths of Kobe and his daughter Gianna. Kobe was a true legend and inspiration to so many. Sending my condolences to his family and friends and the families of all who lost their lives in the crash. RIP Legend💔’

Messi pays tribute to Kobe on Instagram: ‘I have no words … All my love for Kobe’s family and friends. It was a pleasure to meet you and share good times together. We were a genius like few others.’