Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Ibrahimovic surprises Thai soccer team rescued from cave

Ibrahimovic surprises Thai soccer team rescued from cave

But on Monday (Oct 15), on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he said: "This team is braver than me". When they went to leave, they noticed that the "water had risen too high" and they couldn't leave. Meditating also helped them conserve energy.

"They weren't scared and they always had hope", Ake said via the translator. They would sleep, but for an hour at a time. They said they didn't know their rescue was being so closely watched until they arrived in the hospital following their escape. Four of the boys had their birthdays inside the cave, but there was no celebrating.

Just moments after the team named Ibrahimovic their idol, the LA Galaxy star made his entrance, putting a smile on their faces and leaving them speechless. The boys were retrieved one-by-one, with each rescue effort taking nearly eight hours per person. The team members "don't remember anything" about the rescues. All twelve members plus their 25-year-old coach Ake - who was last to be rescued - emerged by July 10.

These days, they are all "healthy" and doing "fine".

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'They all want a good education and have good jobs and be professional soccer players so they can take care of their families, ' the translator explained.

Eventually, when asked which soccer player they look up to, the boys all answered "Zlatan!" He also gave them LA Galaxy gear and invited them to a private practice with his LA Galaxy teammates at StubHub Center.

The team's appearance follows an earlier trip to the Youth Olympic Summer Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they toured soccer club River Plate's Monumental stadium.

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