Football stars ecstatic over Thai cave boys’ rescue

Some of football's biggest names are cheering the rescue of 12 Thai boys and their coach from a flooded cave.

The last of the Wild Boars football team and their coach were extracted on Tuesday after a dangerous rescue that unleashed joy across the world, and earned the boys celebrity plaudits from France to Brazil.

France midfielder Paul Pogba called them "heroes of the day" and dedicated to them his country's 1-0 win over Belgium.

"Well done boys, you are so strong," Pogba said on Twitter.

England defender Kyle Walker and goalkeeper Jack Butland have offered to send gifts to the Thai boys.

"Amazing news that all of the Thai kids are out of the cave safely," Walker said.

Italian club A.S. Roma called the rescue "the best football news of the summer", and offered its condolences to the family of former navy diver Samarn Kunan, who died during the rescue mission last week. It said he was "a real hero".


A Thai health official yesterday said most of the boys, who are aged 11 to 16, had lost weight but were in good condition and showed no signs of stress.

The boys are still in quarantine in hospital, where they will remain for a week for tests. That means they will not be accepting Fifa's invitation to Sunday's World Cup final in Russia.

But they will get their chance to go on tour once fit.

The foundation of Spanish side Barcelona has invited them to attend an international tournament of the club's academy and watch a match at the Nou Camp stadium.

The boys and those who saved them can also look forward to a trip this season toOld Trafford, the home of English giants Manchester United.

"We would love to welcome the team from Wild Boars Football Club and their rescuers," the club tweeted. - REUTERS