CLOSINGS: View Closings

Thai cave boys surprised by their hero Zlatan on US talk show 'Ellen'

The Thai soccer team whose escape from a waterlogged cave transfixed the world appeared on the US talk show ...

Posted: Oct. 16, 2018 12:10 PM
Updated: Oct. 16, 2018 12:10 PM

The Thai soccer team whose escape from a waterlogged cave transfixed the world appeared on the US talk show "Ellen" on Monday, where they had a surprise meeting with their hero soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Dressed in the jerseys of their "Wild Boars" soccer team, the 12 young Thai boys and their coach joined host Ellen DeGeneres to discuss their tense rescue in July.

Football (Soccer)

Sports and recreation

Sports figures

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

International cave diving experts evacuated the team members one-by-one through the submerged cave system, in a carefully coordinated operation that captured the world's attention.

As a present, DeGeneres gifted each of the team a personalized soccer jersey with her logo on the front. Then, after asking who their favorite player was, the host revealed football star Ibrahimovic.

Amid excited smiles from the Thai team, Ibrahimovic high-fived all the players before complimenting them on their bravery.

"I thought I was brave, but these kids, this team, is more braver than me ... This is probably the best team in the world," he said.

Speaking through a Thai translator, the boys and their coach took turns answering questions. They said they didn't know their rescue was being so closely watched until they arrived in the hospital following their escape.

When DeGeneres asked if it was true that three boys had their birthdays while being stuck in the cave, there was a groan of sympathy from the audience.

Then the translator corrected her that it was actually four boys. "Happy birthday!" DeGeneres said, followed by applause. The boys elaborated later that they didn't celebrate their birthdays while they were in the cave.

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 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.

Article Comments

Mason City
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 76°
Albert Lea
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 78°
Austin
77° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 77°
Charles City
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 78°
Rochester
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 76°
Tracking showers and storms to begin the week.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Tracking Rain Showers and Storms

Image

Blackowiak signs with Augsburg

Image

New Hampton girl's golf invite

Image

Austin Bruins vs. Aberdeen Wings - Gm. 4

Image

New social group for women who like craft beer

Image

New craft beer social group for women

Image

Worth Brewing hosts Bockfest

Image

Earth Day festival in Mason City

Image

High school students host Relay for Life

Image

RPS Powwow

Community Events