Yuri Cortez: right place, 
right time, right man

Begin the story

During the World Cup semi-final between Croatia and England, Salvadorian AFP photographer Yuri Cortez is unwittingly buried under a pile of celebrating players when Croatia scored the goal that took them to the final.



The scene

The action

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A matter of experience, luck, passion, professionalism. 
“When the players from the bench arrive, this kind of avalanche throws me back, with them on top of me. Fortunately I didn't lose my camera. I guess at that moment they didn't realize there was a photographer buried under them in that mountain. When they realize I'm there, they help me up, ask me if I'm OK, and then come all the emotional moments -- handshakes, the kiss from Vida, which has become so famous…"

Quick as a flash, he picks up his camera and takes some remarkable close-up shots of the Croats' joy.


The moment

The meaning


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As a specialist in major sport events coverage, from the World Cup to the Olympic Games and iconic events like the Tour de France, AFP broke new boundaries at the World Cup by using robotic technologies and placed photojournalists on the roofs of stadiums at games -- a world first. They were backed up by teams on the ground of sometimes six per match. AFP counts with dozens of professionals like Cortez, from all over the world -- a hallmark of quality.

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