With the World Cup over, so begins the mammoth 18-day football-less wait until the new English season kicks-off in Reading, of all places.
To help fill the gap, Pies have knocked up a little collection of some of our favourite images from the tournament just gone – namely the AFP’s brilliantly surreal ‘Topshot’ photos.
The AFP stationed some of their photographers on stadium roofs throughout the World Cup to capture these excellent ‘top down’ images of the action taking place below, giving the resulting pictures a sort of surreal ‘dislocated’ feel – almost as if each was carefully staged.
In no particular order, here are but a few of the best as plucked from the Getty Images archives…
Ricardo Quaresma unleashes his match-winning ‘trivela’ shot against Iran in Sochi
Lionel Messi celebrates on his lonesome after scoring against Nigeria
Poland players stretch before playing Colombia in Kazan
Antoine Griezmann pulls the ball of the sky against Australia
Fabian Delph does likewise against Panama, but with a little more panache
Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa celebrates El Tri’s match-winning goal against Germany
Diego Costa is in the mix as Spain desperately try to force ball over line against Iran
Colombia players warm up in Kazan for their game against Russia
Willy Caballero sits dejected after conceding a long-range goal from Luka Modric
Neymar screams in what we’re certain he’d call ‘agony’ after falling over against Switzerland
Cristiano Ronaldo comes into land after scoring against Spain
Victor Moses takes off again after slotting home a penalty against Argentina
Christian Eriksen drops to his knees after scoring against Australia
Sergio Ramos watches as Sergei Ignashevich’s own-goal ricochets past Igor Akinfeev
Blaise Matuidi and Edison Flores dance the Tango de la Muerte
Japan’s Yuya Osako rises highest to score the winning goal against Colombia
Germany midfielder Sebastian Rudy lies broken and bloodied on the pitch
Croatia celebrate with their fans after beating Argentina in Group D
Aziz Bouhaddouz lies prostrate after scoring an own-goal for Morocco against Iran
Kasper Schmeichel dives to keep France at bay
Toni Kroos hits the top corner for Germany against Sweden
Marcos Rojo struggles to keep the emotions in check after scoring his last-gasp winner against Nigeria
Neymar and Paulinho celebrate scoring against Mexico with a double-decker
Kylian Mbappe charges off to celebrate after rounding Franco Armani to score against Argentina
Cristiano Ronaldo is left to lament Portugal’s last 16 exit to Uruguay.
Russia players celebrate after winning their penalty shootout against Spain
Kylian Mbappe skips past Jan Vertonghen.
Keiran Trippier’s freekick goes flying past Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic
Paul Pogba slots away his goal against Croatia in the final
France duo Presnel Kimpembe and Thomas Lemar go sliding through the ticker tape
France players run amok with Tricolore flags after winning the World Cup
Les Bleus claim their golden prize at the end of a long and arduous campaign