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Kobe Bryant to play in charity soccer game

Kobe Bryant Meets With FC Barcelona

HOLLYWOOD - AUGUST 5: (L-R) Ronaldinho of Brazil and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers speak at Nike European Club Champion FC Barcelona Rally at Hollywood and Highland on August 5, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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From Janis Carr of the Orange County Register:

Kobe Bryant is taking his soccer talents to Washington, D.C., where he has agreed to play in a celebrity soccer game Sunday.

Former soccer great Mia Hamm and her husband, former Dodgers player Nomar Garciaparra, are playing host to their fourth annual Soccer Challenge that benefits the Mia Hamm Foundation & Children’s National Medical Center.


Apparently Kobe’s knees are feeling good. And any lingering pain in his fingers is irrelevant here.

As Carr mentions, Bryant grew up playing soccer in Italy (he lived there while his father played professional basketball in Italy). Bryant is still a huge fan of FC Barcelona (yes, we know that’s not in Italy, but it’s his fandom not ours), he is friends with Ronaldinho and has been to Barca practices.

Considering that and Bryant’s legendary competitive drive, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Kobe ended up putting in a few goals on Sunday.