Yuri Cortez became famous after Mario Mandzukic’s goal against England.
The Croatian Tourist Board have been in touch with Yuri Cortez, the AFP photographer who famously became part of Croatian celebrations after Mario Mandzukic scored the winner against England in extra-time in the World Cup semi-final.
Cortez was submerged at the bottom of the Croatian players’ huddle as they joyfully celebrated Mandzukic’s goal. He was eventually helped to his feet by the players and helped with putting his glasses back on his head. He even got a kiss from Domagoj Vida.
Some images of the dramatic celebration of Croatia’s second goal against England during the semi final of the world cup #FifaWorldCup2018 #EnglandvsCroatia #CRO #CROvENG #CROENG #RussiaWorldCup2018 #Russia2018 #Rusia2018 #Nikon #CroaciaInglaterra pic.twitter.com/4wTwObDT8t
— Yuri Cortez (@YuriYurisky) July 12, 2018
Cortez said after the match that he felt a bond with the team after the incident and would be supporting them in the final.
The Croatian Tourist Board has now invited Cortez and his family to Croatia for a holiday. The photographer will come at the end of August or the start of September.
The 53-year-old is from El Salvador and is a Mexican correspondent for AFP, the third biggest press agency in the world. He will no doubt take some fantastic photos of Croatia’s natural, cultural and historical beauty when he visits.
“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. The celebration photos have come to the attention of the whole world, who, in addition to the fiery celebration, saw the courtesy of our players. 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,” said Croatian National Tourist Board Director Kristjan Staničić.
Staničić personally contacted Yuri who welcomed the call with enthusiasm and happily accepted the invitation to visit Croatia, a country he has not yet been to before.
“This type of invitation you do not refuse. It will be an honour to come to Croatia. After the match against England and the celebrations with the Croatian players, I feel connected to your country and I supported them wholeheartedly in the final,” Cortez said.
“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,” Staničić concluded.
Unpublished photos of the entire sequence before and during the tumble #Croatia #fifaworldcup2018 #fifaworldcup #russia2018 #CroatiavsEngland #CROENG #Croacia #luzhnikistadium #afpsport @AFPphoto @AFPSport @AFPMexico pic.twitter.com/Yyz9IWopCw
— Yuri Cortez (@YuriYurisky) July 14, 2018