The photographer who was dog-piled by celebrating Croatian soccer players at the World Cup — and who gained worldwide fame by continuing to shoot as it happened — has been given a 7-day vacation to Croatia by the country.
The Croatian National Tourist Board extended the invitation to Cortez, who’s the Chief Photographer of AFP Mexico:
Croatian National Tourist Board brings FP photographer Yuri Cortez to Croatia who unwittingly became part of the celebrations of Croatia in their World Cup semi-final match against England!
Celebration of Croatia’s second goal:
https://t.co/6FadGMA89L#CroatiaFullOfPride #CRO pic.twitter.com/AKnQQxxHMA
— Croatia Full of life (@Croatia_hr) July 19, 2018
Croacia invita al fotógrafo de AFP @YuriYurisky que quedó atrapado debajo de sus futbolistas durante el Mundial de #Rusia2018 #AFP https://t.co/jLOIW5Qbr7 pic.twitter.com/NBhsgNvktz
— Agence France-Presse (@AFPespanol) July 20, 2018
You can see how Cortez found himself at the middle of the Croatian soccer team’s goal celebration in this clip by FOX Soccer:
Este es el resultado del trabajo del fotógrafo salvadoreño, Yuri Cortez tras quedar atrapado en el festejo de Croacia.
IMAGEN PARA LA HISTORIA. #RESPECT 🙌#RUSIAxESPN ⚽https://t.co/HZ6cGLQdMR pic.twitter.com/kpemVsZCwz
— ESPN.com.mx (@ESPNmx) July 11, 2018
Here are photos Cortez captured from beneath the dog-pile, including several previously unpublished views:
Some images of the dramatic celebration of Croatia’s second goal against England during the semi final of the world cup #FifaWorldCup2018 #EnglandvsCroatia #CRO #CROvENG #CROENG #RussiaWorldCup2018 #Russia2018 #Rusia2018 #Nikon #CroaciaInglaterra pic.twitter.com/4wTwObDT8t
— Yuri Cortez (@YuriYurisky) July 12, 2018
Unpublished photos of the entire sequence before and during the tumble #Croatia #fifaworldcup2018 #fifaworldcup #russia2018 #CroatiavsEngland #CROENG #Croacia #luzhnikistadium #afpsport @AFPphoto @AFPSport @AFPMexico pic.twitter.com/Yyz9IWopCw
— Yuri Cortez (@YuriYurisky) July 14, 2018
Al Dia reports that Cortez received an email from the Croatian National Tourist Board with the offer of the all-expense-paid vacation. It stated: “Just make sure to bring your good humor and your camera. Please specify the conditions under you would like to visit Croatia.”
Cortez accepted the offer and is planning to visit Croatia in late August or early September.
“I think I will have the opportunity to see [the Croatian players] closely again,” Cortez tells AFP. “Not on top of me, but close.”