Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 October 2019

Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Paul Pogba share their pain after Notre-Dame Cathedral fire

French footballers took to social media to express their sadness after the blaze engulfed the 850-year-old landmark

Paris Saint-Germain stars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were among the footballers to take to social media to voice their shock after a huge fire gutted the historic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Although the cathedral’s spire collapsed in the flames, firefighters saved the shell of the building which dates back 850 years and attracts more than 13 million visitors a year as the most visited tourist site in the French capital.

As the stunning scenes played out, world leaders posted tributes online and were joined by the biggest names in French football.

Mbappe, 20, posted an image of the fire taking hold of the cathedral and added a crying emoji in the caption.

Former PSG midfielder and England captain David Beckham responded to Mbappe's post with three praying emojis.

Brazilian superstar Neymar, who joined PSG in 2017, shared with his 113 million followers an image of the fictional character Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, carrying the cathedral with pain etched across his face.

He accompanied the image with a caption saying: "Pray for France".

French World Cup winner Paul Pogba, who is in Barcelona for Manchester United's Champions League quarter-final second leg, shared an image of the cathedral before the fire, but with a broken heart added to it and an emoji of himself weeping.

Another Manchester-based player, City's Benjamin Mendy, wrote on his Instagram: "Une pensée pour Notre-Dame ce soir" which translates as "a thought for our lady tonight", next to the following image.

Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette, a seasoned French international but now plying his trade in England's Premier League, also shared an image of the fire with emotional emojis displayed, while PSG's German midfielder Julian Draxler and teammate Angel Di Maria did likewise.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and authorities are continuing their investigation into how it started, the French junior interior minister, Laurent Nunez, said on Tuesday morning.

The fire was under control but not totally extinguished.

Updated: April 16, 2019 11:10 AM

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