Kobe greeting Iniesta and the rest of the squad / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Kobe Bryant is a Barça fan. “I have been following the side for ten years,” he revealed during a meeting with the players at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles. The LA Lakers star showed his colours before the media and the fans, not to mention the US Football Federation, who had come together for one of Barça preparatory training sessions ahead of their first game in the International Champions Cup.

Bryant had his photo taken with the Barça first team stars; the three trophies from last season’s treble and with Juliano Belletti and also with the fans and members of the blaugrana party such as Albert Soler and Juanjo Castillo, with whom he gave his thoughts on the latest sporting news with the easyness of old friends. “What’s the news on Pau (Gasol)?” asked Juanjo Castillo casually. Kobe answered in perfect Spanish that he is still in contact with the Chicago Bulls player.

The NBA star, unconsciously, became the focus of the blaugranes’ second session on US soil. From the sidelines he followed events attentively, waving effusively to Piqué, Iniesta and Luis Enrique, even making jokes about a possible blaugrana future.

Later, without the media following his every move, he had the chance to see the team of his daughter, Mamba Team, trained for the day by Juan Carlos Unzué and Rafael Pol from the Barça coaching staff. “I have never seen a game at Camp Nou and Pau usually sends me messages urging me to go,” he confessed - “It is something on my list and I am excitied by the prospect: I love watching Messi, Iniesta and the rest of the squad.” At the Stub Center he had the chance to see from up close how his footballing idols train.


Kobe Bryant meets FC Barcelona in Los Angeles by fcbarcelona