Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp has sent a message of hope to the soccer team trapped in a Thai cave.
“On behalf of the whole LFC family we wish you from the bottom of our hearts all the best,” said Klopp in an video message sent to CNN Sport.
“Stay strong and we are with you. We are following all the news and hoping every second that you see the daylight again.”
The 12 boys, aged between 11 and 16 years old, entered the cave on June 23 with their soccer coach, only to become stranded in the dark tunnels by a sudden and continuous downpour.
It took rescuers nine days to finally locate the missing soccer team after having to navigate tight and flooded passages.
Efforts continue as rescuers try and formulate a plan to get the boys out before flood waters rise any higher – according to a medical assessment it was too dangerous to try to move the group out Thursday.
“We are all very optimistic that will happen in the next few – hopefully – minutes, hours or next day,” Klopp said.
“Stay strong, best regards here from Liverpool. We are you with you, you will never walk alone,” adds Liverpool’s German manager in reference to the song Liverpool fans sing before every home match at Anfield.
Champions League finalists Liverpool is one of the most popular teams in Thailand having toured there in the past and the club also has a dedicated Thai language website.
Football world urges boys to ‘be strong’
Klopp’s message comes after Real Madrid and Brazilian star Ronaldo told reporters at a FIFA media event that the “football world hopes that someone can find a way” to extract the boys.
FIFA also told CNN Sport that it was in close contact with the Football Association of Thailand over the boys’ plight.
“We hope that with the help of the rescue team, the boys and their coach will be brought safely out of the cave so that they can be reunited with their families,” the governing body said in a statement.
Meanwhile the Croatian Football Federation and its national team, which is in the World Cup quarterfinals, say they “are awed by the bravery and strength that these young boys and their coach have shown amidst such frightening circumstances.
“These are situations that are bigger than sports, but their sporting competitiveness will help them cope with the current challenge.”