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2019-20 French Ligue 1, Regular Season
  • Neymar (28', 52' PEN)

Neymar honours Kobe Bryant with '24' salute after double for PSG

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Soccer world mourns the death of Kobe Bryant (2:42)

Gab Marcotti reflects on Kobe Bryant's love for soccer as players and clubs pay tribute to the NBA legend. (2:42)

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar flashed the number "24" with his fingers following his second goal in a Ligue 1 match Sunday, honoring his friend Kobe Bryant, the NBA player who died in a helicopter crash earlier in the day.

Neymar scored a double to help PSG extend their Ligue 1 lead to 10 points with a 2-0 win at Lille. But it was his gesture in honor of Bryant that was the lasting memory of the match. He then put his hands together in prayer, pointing to the sky and walked toward a camera.

After the match, Neymar told Canal+: "I saw the messages [about Bryant] on social media at half-time. It's a big sadness for the world of sport and for all of us, not just basketball fans. I knew him and I did this celebration for him. I hope he will rest in peace."

Other clubs, including FC Barcelona, reacted to Bryant's death on social media, calling him an "exemplary sportsman."

Neymar's former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi wrote 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 lost a genius like no other."

Neymar is the first player to score 47 goals in his first 50 games in the French elite since Gunnar Andersson netted 47 for Marseille between 1950 and 1952.

Captain Thiago Silva was replaced at half-time with a possible thigh injury as coach Thomas Tuchel already has to deal with the absence of fellow centre back Marquinhos, who is out for three weeks with a thigh problem.

Second-placed Marseille were held to a goalless stalemate at home by Angers on Saturday.

Lille dropped down to seventh on 31 points.