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Kobe Bryant: NBA Star Shows off Skills at Manchester Utd vs. Barcelona Game

Matt FaulconerFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2011

Who knew Kobe Bryant had some soccer skills? Actually, there was a time in Kobe's life when he wanted to become a professional soccer player.

Bryant's father was a professional basketball player and moved the family to Italy so he could pursue a basketball career overseas when Kobe was just a child.

Bryant played a bit of goalkeeper early in his career before moving to the midfield so he could better use his athleticism. He grew up a die-hard fan of AC Milan while living in Italy and has not been linked as a fan of FC Barcelona.

It has been speculated that if the Bryant family did not return to the United States following his father's career in Italy that Bryant would have likely pursued a career as a professional soccer player rather than as a basketball player.

We all know how the story ended for Bryant though as he has now become one of the best players in the game right now, and one of the best players of all-time.

Bryant is now a five-time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP and one-time MVP.

Even with all his basketball achievements, Bryant can still juggle a soccer ball quite well and was even able to beat the keeper on a penalty kick.

Now we can only sit back and wonder what could have been for Kobe's soccer career.

Keep it locked to Bleacher Report's World Football page for all your up-to-date news and analysis.

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