France beat Belgium 1-0 in the World Cup semifinals on Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Russia, advancing to their first World Cup Final since 2006.
But it wasn’t his teammates that French midfielder Paul Pogba was eager to dedicate the win to. It was the youth soccer team in Thailand that was rescued from a flooded cave in the country’s north.
TOUCHING GESTURES: England stars throw support behind rescued Thai boys
UNABLE TO ACCEPT: The Thai football team won’t attend the World Cup final
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) July 10, 2018
“This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong,” Pogba tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
Pogba’s tweet quickly went viral, with overall 25,000 retweets.
Many Twitter fans echoed Pogba’s sentiments and praised the midfielder for taking a moment to think of the rescued boys.
You're a credit to your country and to Manchester United, Paul. Good luck for the final 🇫🇷
— R™ (@RealTalkMUFC) July 10, 2018
Class act Pogba!!
Well done for reaching the final 👏🏻👏🏻
— Totally Man Utd™ (@TotallyMUFC) July 10, 2018
Love that 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
— Sadikshya (@Sadikshya_) July 10, 2018
The amount of respect that I have for this man exponentially increased because of this tweet.
— Joshua Zabat (@j_zabat) July 10, 2018
This man is legend ❤️👏🏽
— TheMartialGirl 🔝 (@11_AMgirl) July 10, 2018
The 12 boys on the “Wild Boars” team and their coach were trapped in a cave for more than two weeks, and were all successfully rescued on Tuesday.
They were exploring a cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai on June 23 when a downpour flooded the tunnels and blocked them in.
The boys, between ages 11 and 16, and their 26-year-old coach were rescued in stages over the last several days, with the final four boys and the coach brought out on Tuesday.
Pogba and France will advance to the World Cup Final, where they’ll take on the winner of Croatia and England — for a chance to bring home the nation’s second World Cup championship.
It wasn’t the only message of support the Wild Boars received from the football world after their stunning escape from the Thai cave, with Manchester United even invited the young boys to the club for the upcoming football 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
Ryan Young – Yahoo Sports