World Cup: Paul Pogba dedicates France semi-final win to rescued Thai boys; LaLiga invites them to attend Spanish league game

France's midfielder Paul Pogba celebrates at the end of the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between France and Belgium at the Saint Petersburg Stadium on July 10, 2018.
France's midfielder Paul Pogba celebrates at the end of the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between France and Belgium at the Saint Petersburg Stadium on July 10, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

ST PETERSBURG (REUTERS) - France midfielder Paul Pogba dedicated his side's World Cup 1-0 semi-final win over Belgium to the 12 Thai boys who were rescued from a flooded cave along with their coach on Tuesday (July 10).

"This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong," Pogba wrote on his official Twitter account after Samuel Umtiti's headed goal put France into Sunday's World Cup final in Moscow, where they will play either Croatia or England.

The Wild Boars football team, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach became trapped on June 23 while exploring the cave complex in the northern Thai province of Chiang Rai, when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels.

On Wednesday, LaLiga said they had invited the boys and their coach to Spain to attend a Spanish top-flight game in the future when they have fully recovered from the ordeal.

LaLiga's president Javier Tebas said: "When the moment is right and everyone is ready, I would like to invite the children and their coach to go to a Liga game.

"We would like to host them and share with them the happiness of football, hoping that this can go some way to helping them after everything they've been through in the last few weeks."

Fifa had invited the boys to the World Cup final although the world football governing body said that due to medical reasons, the boys would not be in a position to travel to the game, although they would invite them to an event in the future.