Croatia Treats Hero World Cup Photographer To A 7-Day Holiday

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Croatia's forward Mario Mandzukic (L) speaks to AFP photographer Yuri Cortez (C) after falling on him with teammates while celebrating scoring his team's second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS

The World Cup had quiet a lot of stories but one of the favourites has to be that of the AFP photographer Yuri Cortez. You may have seen that during Croatia’s goal celebration for Mario Mandzukic extra time winner against England in the semi-final in Moscow, he got caught up in the scenes and ended up being trampled on.

Regardless, Cortez still managed to snap some utterly wonderful close-up shots to capture the moment – and a number of the Croatia players made sure he was alright and helped him back to his feet. Centre-back Domagoj Vida even planted a kiss on his forehead.

As a result of this, the 53-year old has been pushed into the spotlight and is now subject to a superb gesture from Croatian National Tourist Board, who are bringing him and his family to their country for a special holiday in August or at the start of September.

Croatian National Tourist Board Director Kristjan Staničić personally called the El Salvadoran and proposed the idea of a lifetime trip for seven days and he duly accepted.

“Almost every major international competition is marked by an interesting anecdote, and what marked this World Cup was the celebration of Croatian footballers in the midst of which Yuri found himself accidentally, who recorded it all with his camera making the most original, most accurate and surely one of the most impressive photos of the World Cup,” Staničić said.

“Croatia is a beautiful country of warm and friendly hosts, and we are happy that Yuri accepted our invitation and he will have the opportunity to personally witness that.

“Yuri will start the 7-day holiday in Croatia in Zagreb, after that we will show him the best of what the coast, islands and continental Croatia offer. We will try and make it a holiday he won’t forget.”

What a story!

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