Paul Pogba dedicated France’s semi-final win over Belgium on Tuesday to members of the Thai football team who were rescued from a flooded cave.
The final five members of the Wild Boars football team were pulled from the cave on Tuesday just hours before the France- Belgium game after spending 17 days trapped deep underground.
Cave divers and Thai Navy SEALs rescued the final group of four boys and their 25-year-old coach after leading them through narrow, water-filled tunnels in total darkness.
Impressed by their bravery, the Manchester United midfielder tweeted after France’s 1-0 win: “This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong.”
Pogba is not the only football star to offer support to the boys, whose ordeal has captured the attention of people worldwide.
England’s Kyle Walker has offered to send some kits to the boys, while the team have also been invited to visit Spain and England by Barcelona and Manchester United respectively.
— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) July 10, 2018
The Spanish champions invited the team to play in their international academy tournament next year as well as watch a first-team game at the Nou Camp, while the Red Devils said they would love to “welcome the team from Wild Boars Football Club and their rescuers to Old Trafford this coming season.”
#MUFC is relieved to learn that the 12 footballers and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand are now safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.
We would love to welcome the team from Wild Boars Football Club and their rescuers to Old Trafford this coming season. pic.twitter.com/5CGMoD1Msq
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 10, 2018
FIFA boss Gianni Infantino had also invited the boys to attend Sunday’s World Cup final, although it is unlikely to happen as “due to medical reasons, the boys will not be in a position to travel to Moscow”.
“FIFA’s priority remains the health of everyone involved in the operation and we will look into finding a new opportunity to invite the boys to a FIFA event to share with them a moment of communion and celebration,” a spokesman said.