Pogba devotes win to rescued Thai boys

Midfielder Paul Pogba has dedicated France's World Cup semi-final win over Belgium to the young footballers rescued from flooded caves after an 18-day ordeal in Thailand.

Samuel Umtiti's second-half goal in St Petersburg was enough to get Les Bleus past Roberto Martinez's Red Devils and into Sunday's Moscow final against either England or Croatia.

"It\'s great but it\'s not finished": Paul Pogba.

“It\’s great but it\’s not finished”: Paul Pogba.

The players were quick to express their emotion at the result on social media after the full-time whistle.


Pogba posted a picture on Instagram of the 12 boys, aged between 11 and 17, who entered the Tham Luang cave system in Chiang Rai province with their 25-year-old coach on June 23 and became trapped when heavy rain cut off their way out.

He wrote alongside it: "This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong #thaicaverescue #chiangrai"

The Manchester United man also indicated there was still work to do for Didier Deschamps' side in Russia, saying of Tuesday night's victory: "It's great but it's not finished."

Forward Kylian Mbappe posted some action pictures from the match and said "WHAT A DREAM".

Defender Raphael Varane simply posted a picture of himself celebrating alongside the words: "En finale."

Fellow defender Lucas Hernandez was similarly joyous, saying simply: "Direction … LA FINALLLLLLLEEE !!"

Former England striker Chris Sutton, working as a World Cup pundit, accused Belgium of "bottling" it on the big stage and stuck the knife into goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who had suggested England counterpart Jordan Pickford was too short to be a great keeper.

He wrote on Twitter: "France deserved it … Varane and Umtiti outstanding defenders, Mbappe the star of the World Cu, Belgium bottled it once again in a big tournament… big guy Courthois beaten at his near post… I think little Pickford would have saved it…"


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