The World Cup photographer Yuri Cortez, who got crushed under Croation footballers during their goal celebration in the semifinal, is currently in Croatia with his family on holiday and has been warmly received by the President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic as well as the Russia 2018 finalists.
The 35-year old AFP photographer shot to fame after Mario Mandzukic’s goal against England took Croatia to the final of World Cup 2018. Even though he was caught at the bottom of the Croatian celebration, the team had helped him get up and put his glasses back. The photorgapher even received a kiss from Domagoj Vida.
#MundialTVMAX El fotógrafo de la AFP, Yuri Cortez, quedó atrapado bajo una montaña de jugadores de Croacia que celebraron el gol de la victoria por 2 por 1 ante Inglaterra que llevó a la final de Rusia 2018 con Francia al equipo balcánico. pic.twitter.com/ZqjsF9OSLO
— TVN Noticias (@tvnnoticias) 12 July 2018
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) 12 July 2018
Cortez, who had said after the incident that he felt a bond with the team, arrived in Croatia on the invite from the Croatian Tourist Board. Not only did he receive a signed Croatian shirt by Mandzukic, but Luka Modric and Dejan Lovren also addressed him in personal video messages, welcoming him to the country.
This is an example about how Croatian people received me in their country I’m totally grateful. Así me ha recibido la gente en Croacia , estoy muy agradecido. #Croatia #ElSalvador #Salvadoreños #Zagreb pic.twitter.com/y5PaUKdqKk
— Yuri Cortez (@YuriYurisky) 1 September 2018
Now I have my official jersey as member of the Croatia national team with the number 10. Ahora ya tengo mi Jersey de la selección Croata con el número 10. #ElSalvador #Croacia #Croatia #Football #CroatiaFullOfLife #Salvadoreños pic.twitter.com/IZFYOrfsGd
— Yuri Cortez (@YuriYurisky) 5 September 2018
— Croatia Full of life (@Croatia_hr) 5 September 2018
— Yuri Cortez (@YuriYurisky) 6 September 2018
“Dear Yuri, hope you enjoy Croatia with your family! Kind regards, MM17,” the Juventus striker wrote.
The President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic also posted photos with Cortez and wrote on her official Facebook account, “Now already world famous photographer Yuri Cortez in a truly special way is the perpetuated celebration of our footballers in Russia. Thank him for giving his original photos to the international recognition of Croatia.”