San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Lionel Messi pays tribute to Manu Ginobili

By Rob Wolkenbrod
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi warms up before the Spanish league football match between Real Valladolid and FC Barcelona at the Jose Zorrilla Stadium in Valladolid on August 25, 2018. (Photo by Benjamin CREMEL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP/Getty Images)
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi warms up before the Spanish league football match between Real Valladolid and FC Barcelona at the Jose Zorrilla Stadium in Valladolid on August 25, 2018. (Photo by Benjamin CREMEL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP/Getty Images)
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Soccer superstar Lionel Messi thanked Manu Ginobili for everything he did for the San Antonio Spurs and in professional basketball.

On Monday, Manu Ginobili called it a career with the San Antonio Spurs and entered retirement. It marked the end of a 16-year run, loaded with memories and accolades to fill a stint that potentially finds him in the Basketball Hall of Fame down the line.

Since Ginobili’s announcement, he received “thank you” messages from players across the NBA, including teammates from the 2017-18 season. However, these comments ranged beyond the game of basketball.

Soccer superstar Lionel Messi, a fellow Argentinian sports player, posted a message on Facebook to commemorate Ginobili’s career and thanked him for the memories of the past 16 years:

“Thank you Manu Ginobili for making us enjoy basketball so much,” said Messi. “It’s not gonna be the same without you on the court. All the luck in the world in your new stage!” He also said how everything “won’t be the same” without Ginobili.

It’s high praise from this global star, who’s arguably the best player of his sport. He and Ginobili rank among the top athletes to ever hail from Argentina.

The support and positives wishes will continue to arise for Ginobili as the days continue, to celebrate four championships, awards and the respect everyone had for him off the court. He meant plenty to the Spurs for 16 seasons as a member of the “Big 3” and sits amongst the greatest in franchise history, with Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Tony Parker and George Gervin around him.

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The celebration for Ginobili already continued with “Manu Ginobili Day” on Aug. 30 and will go forward in a future jersey-retirement ceremony and potential induction into the Hall of Fame. How might it continue as the season nears and the basketball talk amps up?

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