On Wednesday afternoon, Messi took to Instagram to honor the 37-year-old vet.
"It's always sad to hear when a sportsman is retiring," Messi wrote. "But @KobeBryant will always be in the history books as one of the greatest. It was he who helped me become interested in basketball."
The respect and admiration is mutual between the two stars. Bryant said in 2014 that Messi was the best soccer player for a five-year period of time.
One legend showing respecting to another.
Also on HuffPost: