Ibrahimovic surprises Thai soccer team rescued from cave

LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9) celebrates a goal against the Seattle Sounders in the first half of an MLS soccer match in Carson, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. (Reed Saxon/AP)

Remember the Thai boys soccer team that was rescued from a cave back in July? They made their first appearance on studio TV on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and got to meet one of their idols in the process.

Speaking to DeGeneres, the “Wild Boars” team recounted their experience of being trapped in the cave for 18 days, how they stayed calm during the ordeal and whether they remember their eight-hour journey out of the cave to safety.

Eventually, when asked which soccer player they look up to, the boys all answered “Zlatan!” Like clockwork, Zlatan Ibrahimovic emerged onto the set, much to the delight of the team.

“I thought I was brave, but these kids – this team – are braver than me,” Ibrahimovic said. “They showed their collective teamwork and they had patience and faith, believing in other hands also.

“This is probably the best team in the world.”

Ibrahimovic also provided gifts to each of the boys, including jerseys, hats and tickets to the LA Galaxy’s next home match.

You can watch the full interview below.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.