Photographer’s 40 seconds of world fame
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