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Avoid the crush: World Cup photographer visits Dubrovnik in September

Avoid the crush: World Cup photographer visits Dubrovnik in September
© Yuri Cortez

You've got to admire the dedication of some photographers, especially those who put life and limb on the line while working. Usually, it's war photographers who find themselves in dangerously compromising positions. But South American photographer Yuri Cortez managed to get thrown to the ground not as a result of avoiding gunfire or explosions, but when he famously came into close contact with the Croatian national side at the recent World Cup.

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Yuri is a sports photographer and during the semi-final between England and Croatia took up a not unusual position at the pitch side, just behind the Englis goal, where photographers huddle in order to get close action shots. The photographs Yuri managed to take on that night could certainly be called close action.

Mario Mandžukić's goal in the game's second half caused the now internationally retired striker to celebrate in front of fans who were sitting behind the English goal.  When his teams mates ran over and jumped on him, half of the team spilled over the barrier protecting photographers and the Croatian players ended up celebrating the goal on top of Cortez. Ever the professional, Cortez continued to take pictures of the joyous footballers and captured, across several now-famous pictures, the smiles of the Croatian players, followed by their realisation that they were crushing him and them the outstretched arms of leading players as they helped the photographer back to his feet.

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After checking Yuri and his equipment were OK, and after he received a kiss from an ecstatic Domagoj Vida, the team and Yuri Cortez went back to their respective tasks. But Yuri Cortez's story with Croatia was not finished just yet. After the incident became famous across the world, the Croatian Tourist Board invited Cortez and his family to visit the country for an all expenses paid holiday. Although, in this latest instalment, it's the Croatian city of Dubrovnik that has bowled Cortez over, not Croatia's sportsmen. 'Dubrovnik is a famous city,' said Cortez, who travelled to the city immediately after having spent time in Zagreb. 'The history and legends of this city are very interesting. I am also a fan of Game of Thrones, so that is an added bonus.'

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