Home Images of the World Cup – by the people who take them

Images of the World Cup – by the people who take them

The Hand of God

Diego Maradona scores past Peter Shilton with his Hand of God (Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

By Paul Gilham, director of photography, Sports, Getty Images

The World Cup is all about moments and this has to be one of the most iconic moments ever captured. Perhaps the most famous goal in World Cup history, the ‘Hand of God’, as Maradona himself described it, was the first of two goals ‘El Pibe de Oro’ scored in the quarter final against England. This image is unique from a photographic point of view as it’s the only clear version of a moment that created so much agony and heartache from one of the greatest players of all time. The photographer captured a moment that froze history creating the ‘hand of god’. It has gone on to become one of the most used sports pictures of all time.

Birdseye Baggio

17 Jul 1994: Brazilian goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel celebrates after Italy’s Roberto Baggio misses the crucial penalty during the World Cup final (Mike Powell/Allsport)

By Paul Gilham, director of photography, Sports, Getty Images

People remember history in still images and fortunately photographer Mike Powell was in position to capture this unique overhead angle, showing the celebration and despair of Brazil and Italy under the watchful eye of the world’s media at the 1994 World Cup. The World Cup was won and lost with this one penalty. The way Baggio is pictured, so small against the vast pitch adds to the sense of drama and the loneliness he would have experienced having missed the penalty. The juxtaposition of the goalkeeper is a stark contrast as euphoria is about to engulf him and his team-mates.

The Merkel selfie

German chancellor Angela Merkel and president Joachim Gauck celebrate with the players after winning the 2014 Fifa World Cup (Lars Baron – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

By Lars Baron, Getty Images sports photographer

The final in Rio was the crowning glory of the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup for me. Having worked at the World Cup previously, in Germany in 2006 (where I was mainly traveling with the German team) and then at the tournament in South Africa (working as a normal editorial photographer) this time in Brazil I was covering the World Cup as a FIFA designated photographer. Before the final match we agreed with the delegates of the German team that, in the event of a victory, I would be allowed into the changing rooms after the trophy handover.

After the game, I covered the final cheers and cup handover and then left the lap of honour relatively early and made my way to the changing rooms. There I met the current Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi, whom I know relatively well. Together we headed into the changing rooms where Angela Merkel, and former German president Joachim Gauck and coach Jogi Loew were already present talking shop. When Lukas Podolski came into the cabin with the trophy, the cheers were abundant. The players, led by Bastian Schweinsteiger, were keen to take a selfie with the chancellor – which was good for me, as I was standing right in front of them at the time. I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible, so as not to interrupt the moment with my camera.

This was the absolute highlight of my career as a sports photographer – to experience the World Cup trophy win with my team, in the changing rooms of the Maracanã. At the time I didn’t really take it all in as I was so focused on doing my job. It was only afterwards with my fellow Fifa designated Getty Images photographer Alex Livesey, and even later on, when I met up with my colleagues from Getty Images in the press room, that this very special experience sank in.

Zidane loses his head

Zinedine Zidane of France walks past the World Cup after being sent off during the final in 2006 (Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

By Martin Rose, Getty Images sports photographer

The atmosphere was amazing on a fantastic summer night in Berlin. It was my third World Cup and the second World Cup Final I had shot. After Zidane was sent off with a red card for headbutting Italian player Materazzi, I knew that I would only have one chance to take a picture of him with the trophy. I was in an overhead position and had a perfect view of the trophy. I crossed my fingers that Zidane would walk the route to the dressing room that took him past the trophy, and he did. So I fired a couple of frames and managed to capture that special moment when he passed by the trophy with sunken head. It was the last World Cup Zidane played and that it ended with a red card and he was deprived of lifting the trophy as a world champion makes this picture very special.

Iniesta’s dedication

Andres Iniesta celebrates scoring for Spain in the 2010 Fifa World Cup final (Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

By David Ramos, Getty Images sport photographer

The perennial underachievers, Spain had never managed to deliver the biggest prize of all despite boasting some of the game’s greatest talents. In 2010 they once again went into the finals as one of the favourites, and after defeat in their opening group game many believed that they would once again fail to fulfil their potential. In the 116th minute however, Barcelona star Andres Iniesta scored the all-important goal and celebrated by running straight towards Getty Images photographer Jamie McDonald and removing his shirt to show his dedication to friend and former opponent Dani Jarque who had passed away earlier in the season. I was covering the celebrations in Barcelona and I remember the whole city, all together, celebrating that moment. It was really emotional. To this day, RCD Espanyol supporters still acknowledge that gesture to Iniesta when FC Barcelona plays them.

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