Kobe Bryant did not miss Argentina's victory over Brazil

Society Materials 19 August 2008 22:49 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - US basketball superstar Kobe Bryant - a self- proclaimed fan of Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Ronaldinho - watched from the stands of the Workers' Stadium in Beijing Tuesday, as Argentina beat Brazil 3- 0 in the semifinals of the Olympic football tournament.

"He (Bryant) looked forward to this match all week. He was eager to see Messi playing again, also Ronaldinho," Dream Team spokesman Brian McIntyre told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The Los Angeles Lakers' shooting guard was in the VIP box, close to Argentine football legend Diego Maradona.

Bryant had a chance encounter with members of the Argentine football team earlier in the Games.

"Messi is my favourite footballer. He is a phenomenon," the NBA star told dpa at the time. "I love to see him play. He is very talented with the ball. You never know what he is going to do with it."

Bryant - who also said then that he is a fan of Ronaldinho - later went to the stadium to watch Argentina play Serbia, but the South Americans had already qualified for the quarterfinals, and Messi did not get to play.

Argentina offered its fans, Bryant included, a great show against Brazil, although the basketball star left the stadium about 10 minutes before the game ended.