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Messi, Ronaldo, global soccer reacts to Kobe Bryant, daughter deaths

Gab Marcotti reflects on Kobe Bryant's love for soccer as players and clubs pay tribute to the NBA legend.

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among several people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday, a source confirmed to ESPN. Bryant was 41.

Drafted 13th overall in 1996 out of Lower Merion High School outside of Philadelphia, Bryant was a five-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA Finals MVP and the 2008 NBA MVP. The 18-time All Star retired in 2016 after 20 seasons in the league, all with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were among many...

Lionel Messi left out of Barcelona Copa del Rey tie against Ibiza

ESPN FC were given an all-access pass ahead of CD Ibiza's Copa del Rey clash with Barcelona.
Steve Nicol believes Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez will need an adjustment period to fit well together.
Steve Nicol considers whether a Juventus move would be good for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
Bojan Krkic explains why Ernesto Valverde's sacking from Barcelona doesn't come as much of a surprise to him.

Lionel Messi has been left out of Barcelona's squad for Wednesday's Copa del Rey round-of-32 game against Ibiza.

Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique will also be rested for the tie away at the third division club, while Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez are both absent through injury.

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It is just the second time this season that Messi, 32, has been rested. He missed five league games at the start of the season with injury problems...

Messi 8/10, Puig 7/10 as Barca win Setien's debut

Steve Nicol considers whether a Juventus move would be good for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
Bojan Krkic explains why Ernesto Valverde's sacking from Barcelona doesn't come as much of a surprise to him.

BARCELONA -- Lionel Messi scored the only goal of the game as the Quique Setien Era began at Barcelona with a narrow 1-0 win against 10-man Granada at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Setien had to wait until the 76th minute for Messi to open the scoring following a fine move involving Riqui Puig, Antoine Griezmann and an Arturo Vidal back-heel.

Until that point, Barca had enjoyed the lion's share of possession, but it was Granada who had come closest to opening the scoring when Yan Eteki hit the post.

However,...

Messi: Ronaldo rivalry will be remembered forever

Ale Moreno feels competing with Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d'Or is the ultimate fuel for Lionel Messi.
Stewart Robson presents his top five players in the world, but questions arise over some glaring omissions.
Alejandro Moreno breaks down Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's impact on El Clasico.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has said his intense rivalry with former Real Madrid counterpart Cristiano Ronaldo at "the best two" clubs in the world will never be forgotten.

Ronaldo left Madrid as the club's all-time top scorer after nine seasons to join Juventus in 2018 and the two have not faced each other since.

"It was special and it was a duel that will remain forever as it went on for many years and it isn't easy to keep competing at the highest level for so long," Messi told Dazn Italia...