The AFP photographer who got squashed by a writhing mass of Croatia players during their World Cup semi-final win over England has been offered a holiday by way of recompense.
Yuri Cortez was knocked off his stool and swiftly engulfed by roughly half of the Croatian squad in the immediate aftermath of Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time winning goal – which led to him grabbing some fantastic (and unintentionally intimate) photos of the huddle from deep within.
However, the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) have jumped on the opportunity for a little positive PR by extending an entirely unnecessary olive brand and offering Cortez and his family a complimentary seven-day holiday as a gesture of goodwill.
In a message to Cortez released in the form of a statement, HTZ said:
The only thing you’ll need to bring to Croatia is a good mood and your camera because we are confident that this charming and well-liked man will not be able to resist the numerous Croatian natural, cultural and historical beauties.
Almost every major international competition is marked by an interesting anecdote, and the World Cup marked the celebrations of Croatian footballers in the midst of which Yuri found himself accidentally.
He recorded it all with his camera, creating some of the most original, most accurate and surely most impressive photos of the championship.
HTZ also confirmed that the 53-year-old from El Salvador has accepted the offer and is now hoping to make the trip at the end of August.
As per the aforementioned statement, this was Cortez’s response when contacted via telephone:
This kind of offer you do not refuse. It will be my honour to come to Croatia. After the match, I feel connected with your country and I was supporting you in the World Cup final.
Superb. Everyone’s a winner (or runner-up, as the case may be).
When it comes to free holidays, it’s almost worth having Mandzukic poke his elbow down your earhole.