The press conference was a joyous occasion, with laughter and jokes as the team said they were in good spirits following their ordeal.
In video of the scene that was captured by one of the diver's bodycameras and later broadcast around the world, the bedraggled boys, dressed in mud-caked football kits, could be seen thanking their rescuers.
Local artists work on a mural dedicated to the successful rescue of the Wild Boars football team outside an art gallery in Chiang Rai province on July 18, 2018 as family membes await for the children's homecoming. "On the first day we were ok, but after two days we started feeling exhausted", said Pornchai "Tee" Kamluang, 16, adding that their coach, Ekaphol "Ake" Chantawong, told them to stay still when possible to preserve energy. The group was digging inside the cave, looking for possible exits, when he thought he heard the voices of people talking. Their coach quickly told everyone to be quiet. Relieved, the diver simply said "Brilliant". They huddled on a patch of dry ground deep inside the cave. It was unclear at first how they would be brought out of the flooded cave. They were said to have lost an average of nine pounds while they were trapped in the cave.
With the entrance flooded and no immediate way out, the group retreated back into the cave to find somewhere to rest.
Some boys said they would learn from their ordeal.
"This is the happiest day of my life", she told AFP in an interview.
They were forced to swim part of the way before roping themselves together as the water continued to rise. He said that when he saw his son through the glass, all he wanted to do was hug him, according to a CNN report.
They all apologised to their families.
"It was magical", he said, "I had to think a lot before I could answer their questions".
"We weren't sure if it was for real", 14-year-old Adul said.
"I want to be a navy SEAL because I want to help others", said another boy.
A packed crowd greeted the youngsters after they were discharged from hospital in Chiang Rai, and watched as they played with footballs on a small makeshift pitch before taking their seats.
A rescue operation which drafted in divers and experts from around the world lasted almost three weeks.
The Wild Boars teammates had entered the Tham Luang cave on June 23 for what was to be a quick, relaxing excursion after soccer practice.
Friends said they knew the dangers and that the caves were considered off-limits at this time of year.
The Seals were instrumental in saving the boys, who spent more than two weeks trapped underground in a cave system with their coach.
Numerous team said they wished to become Thai Navy SEALS in the future - or play soccer for their country.
The boys are due to return to their homes later on Wednesday.
Authorities meticulously planned the rescue, bringing the group out in three separate stages, sedating each boy and pairing them with two experienced divers apiece. "I drank water to make me full". Earlier this week, he told CBS News, after the rescue, that he just wants a normal life for his son.
Trapped in the dank, pitch-black darkness, the boys had no idea whether anyone was even coming for them - let alone that they had generated non-stop global headlines.