BERNAT LÓPEZ / ©XTREM FOOTBALL
Los Angeles Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to surprise the members of the Wild Boar football team who were trapped in a cave in Thailand last June.
“These kids, I thought I was brave, but these kids, this team is braver than me and they show the collective teamwork and patience and belief in (each) other”, Ibrahimovic said of the players. “This is probably the best team in the world”, he added.
The group, who play for Wild Boars, were headline news after they became trapped underground in northern Thailand on June 23. Two British divers found the coach and players alive and a daring rescue mission was launched to save them.Finally they emerged with rescuers on July 10 and have today spoken about their traumatic near-death experience with the American TV star Ellen. The boys revealed how prayer and meditation helped them to stay calm while they were trapped during a heart-rendering interview.
Courtesy of DeGeneres, the Thai boys were then given passes to see Ibrahimovic play in his next game with the LA Galaxy football club. Asked what they wanted to do in the future, the boys said they wanted to receive a “good education” and get “good jobs”. “Also to be a professional soccer player so that they can take care of their families”, the translator said, to applause.The boys, all aged between 11 and 16, disappeared along with their 25-year-old coach after football practice on June 23. They had set out to explore the cave complex to celebrate a boy’s birthday. Rescuers then faced a race against time to find the boys as heavy rain continued to batter the region. On June 28, British drivers joined the rescue and finally on July 2 the boys were discovered alive.