A Look Back at 2 of the Most Iconic Photos in Soccer History

With the World Cup in full swing, CNN Digital’s director of photographer, Simon Barnett, has his hands full. Each day of the cup, his job is to look through somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 images and decide which make the cut.

In this short video above, he explains what separates the amazing images from the great-but-not-good-enough crowd, and takes us through what it is that made two iconic soccer photographs so iconic.


Described as “an inside look into [Barnett’s] process for choosing the best photo” that includes “some soccer photography tips!” that’s not really what’s going on here. Barnett rifles through images at about 3 per second on average, so it’s a real treat to have him break down these two impressive shots based on the moment they captured, their composition, the expressions on the players faces and so on and so forth.

It’s a peek into the mind of a top-tier photo editor, and a look at two iconic photographs that you might not have ever laid eyes on — if you happen to glean some soccer photography tips from that, all the better.

  • Jason Yuen

    I disagree. This is the most iconic photo in soccer history.

  • jasonlopez789

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    thought Amy `s artlclee is really cool, on thursday I got a great Mitsubishi
    Evo from earning $9547 this last four weeks and-over, $10k last-month . this
    is certainly the nicest work I’ve had . I started this 6 months ago and
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  • Felipe_Paredes

    WTF is Soccer??? are you talking about football?

  • Felipe_Paredes
  • iowapipe

    until the 1980s Britain called it soccer… then when it started becoming popular in the U.S., Britain started calling it football to keep it differentiated from the U.S. — this ‘football’ snobbery is misplaced

  • SwedishKiwi

    Well, no… Brits called it football from the very beginning. FA, the governing body of football in England, stands for The Football Association – and they were founded back in 1863. Soccer is an abbreviation of “association football”, the term used to distinguish it from e.g. rugby football, so even that word has football as its origin.

    As Felipe_Paredes explained in another comment, the word football is very misplaced when it comes to that American kind of sport.

  • iowapipe

    yep – being more specific you are right – my point is that this snobbery is misplaced.

  • imajez

    I’ve called it football or soccer interchangeably and I’m British and live not far from where the very first football club was formed.
    Sneering at the word soccer is indeed snobbery, which is ironic considering it’s football we are talking about and it’s long term association with soccer/football hooligans and violence.

  • Kris Moralee

    Damn, you couldn’t have been any more wrong than you were there. Making stuff up just to prove a point isn’t really the way forward.

    You have the world at your fingertips, check the facts before posting on topics you clearly know nothing about.