AFP photographer Yuri Cortez was shooting the World Cup semifinal yesterday when he got much closer to the action than he expected. After Croatia scored its go-ahead goal in extra time, the celebrating players knocked Cortez over and piled on top of him. In the midst of the chaos, Cortez kept shooting.
— Marcus Gilmer (@marcusgilmer) July 11, 2018
The Croatian players politely apologized to Cortez after the dogpile, and one even gave him a kiss on his head.
One day ill get a kiss from a World Cup player while covering a game 😔😂#Goals
— Wiso Vazquez (@WisoVazquez) July 11, 2018
— Brian Koerber (@bkurbs) July 11, 2018
Cortez was seen on TVs around the world snapping off close-up photos as his head peeked out from under the dogpile.
Other photographers in the area also captured the incident and Cortez at work as a true professional:
Never. Give. Up. pic.twitter.com/Hqs2iE67KY
— Michael Regan (@MichaelRegan) July 11, 2018
Cortez was rewarded for his efforts, as his resulting photos from under the pile have begun going viral online today:
Cortez posted this slideshow on Instagram sharing some of his other shots from under the pile:
“I was just changing my lens as the players ran towards me,” the Mexico-based Cortez tells AFP. “They just kept coming towards me and they fell on me! It was a crazy moment, they were delighted. Then they suddenly realized that I was underneath them. Then they asked me if I was OK. Another one picked up my lens and another player (Domagoj Vida) gave me a kiss.”