“For me and my family it is a great experience to come to Croatia and see these amazing sights,” commented Yuri Cortez as he arrived in Dubrovnik yesterday. Adding that he wanted to discover more about “really beautiful places” like Dubrovnik.
Cortez, a professional photographer for AFP, was catapulted to world fame after crushed by Croatian players during the World Cup semi-final against England. Given that photographers stand so close to the action it is probably surprising that something like this hasn’t happened before. Mario Mandžukić scored the winning goal and in ecstasy and euphoria charged towards the Croatian fans behind the goal, as teammates jumped on his back they are inadvertently crushed the Mexican-based photographer.
Cortez meets a fan on the Stradun - Photo Mark Thomas
It was a moment captured all over the world. The Croatian players helped him back to his feet and one even planted a kiss on his forehead. Cortez has shaken but not badly injured and as he lay on the ground he remembered his profession and clicked away, bringing some truly unique images.
The 2018 World Cup in Russia was a success for Croatia is more ways than one. Firstly, on the field Croatia had their best ever result winning the silver medal, but off the field the positive feelings and goodwill towards the country was priceless. And the Cortez incident was only a small chapter but one that the Croatian Tourist Board used to the maximum. They invited him and his family to come to Croatia for an all-expenses paid holiday with his family. Cortez, who was born in El Salvador but lives in Mexico took a 20-hour flight to get to Zagreb and is clearly enjoying the unexpected fame.
“I was surprised when the Croatian players charged towards me but I never stopped taking photos, it was a great experience,” smiled Cortez.
World Cup moment - Photo by Yuri Cortez
“Dubrovnik is a famous city. 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,” concluded Cortez.