Paul Pogba has dedicated France’s World Cup semi-final victory to the 12 boys rescued from a Thai cave.
The French football star hailed the youngsters as “heroes” after they spent more than two weeks trapped inside the flooded cave system.
His comments came after France secured a place in the World Cup final with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Belgium in St Petersburg.
Paul Pogba dedicated France’s World Cup semi-final win against Belgium to the 12 boys who survived a harrowing ordeal trapped underground in Thailand.
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) July 10, 2018
After the game, Pogba tweeted: “This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong.”
The final five members of a young football team were rescued from a flooded Thai cave on Tuesday after spending 18 harrowing days trapped deep inside, completing an astonishing against-the-odds rescue mission that captivated the world.
Elite foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALs extracted the final batch of four boys, plus the 25-year-old coach, via a treacherous escape route that required them to squeeze through narrow, water-filled tunnels in darkness.
They are being assessed in hospital along with their 25-year-old coach, who was also rescued.
France defender Samuel Umtiti scored the winning goal for his team against Belgium with a powerful header in the 51st minute.
It means the 1998 World Cup winners will play either England or Croatia in the eagerly-awaited final on Sunday.
The remaining semi-final takes place at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday, with the Three Lions looking to make it to the final for the first time since 1966.
France will be the favourites to win the title after a strong performance against a star-studded Belgium side featuring the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.