Photographer’s 40 sec­onds of world fame

New Straits Times - - SPORT -

MEX­ICO CITY: photographer Yuri Cortez has cov­ered wars, coups, nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and hu­man­i­tar­ian crises around the world in his three-decade ca­reer.

But noth­ing pre­pared him for the 40 sec­onds that have brought him in­ter­na­tional fame: end­ing up be­neath an avalanche of Croa­tia play­ers cel­e­brat­ing the goal that sent them to the World Cup fi­nal.

Cortez was on the side­lines pho­tograph­ing Mario Mandzu­kic’s ex­tra-time goal at Wed­nes­day’s semi-fi­nal against Eng­land when he found him­self swal­lowed up in the cel­e­bra­tion, buried be­neath a pile of ec­static Croa­t­ian foot­ballers.

When they re­alised he was be­neath them, they helped him to his feet, asked him if he was OK and put his glasses back on his head.

He even got a kiss on the cheek from de­fender Do­magoj Vida — an im­age that in­stantly went vi­ral.

Ever the pro­fes­sional, the grin­ning Cortez kept his shut­ter click­ing through­out, send­ing a touch­ing se­ries of pho­tos that gave the world an un­usu­ally in­ti­mate look at a mo­ment of pure foot­ball joy.

The 53-year-old El Sal­vador na­tive, who caught a flight home

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