Croatia offers invite to photographer who got piled on by players at the World Cup

Yuri Cortez was sent tumbling to the ground as players jumped on top of him after Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal against England.

A photographer who accidentally got caught up in Croatia’s wild celebrations after they scored the winning goal against England during the World Cup has been offered a holiday by the country’s tourism board.

Yuri Cortez, who works for Agence France-Presse, was sent tumbling to the ground as players piled on top of him after Mario Mandzukic scored the goal on July 11 that saw Croatia through to the final.

The 53-year-old from Mexico City was invited to visit the country with his family and he accepted the offer, saying he has never been to Croatia before.

He said: “This kind of invitation is very special and it is a great honour and pleasure for me to come to Croatia.

Yuri Cortez
Cortez got caught up in the celebrations (Frank Augstein/AP)

“After the match against England and the celebration with the national team, I feel a connection towards Croatia, who I was also cheering for in the final match.”

The Cortez family are expected to travel towards the end of August or early September.

Kristjan Stanicic, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, said: “His trip to Croatia is due to start in Zagreb and after that, we will show him the beauty of our country, our stunning coastline and numerous islands but also the continental tourism offer.

“We are organising a trip he will remember.”

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