Location: Beijing National Stadium
Olympic Football final
The ultimate shot.
For every photographer this means something else. If its about the news, the picture should tell the full story at once or symbolize the (written) article. But the ultimate picture can also be one purely from an artistic perspective. There are no rules about the ultimate shot. Olympic photographers have a very tough job. They sometimes have to fight for their position. In order to get their ultimate shot. It’s an Olympic discipline in itself, sitting outside in the burning heat, focussing 100% of the time. Every moment can be thát moment. The ultimate shot.
In the football final of the Beijing Games in 2008 Maradona and the rest of the crowd knew it would also come down to that ultimate shot. It was far too hot to play a decent game of Football. The final was scheduled at 12.00 for, obviously, commercial reasons. It was over 35 degrees Celsius. Argentina were the favourites, sending out a uniquely talented squad; Di Maria, Agüero, Riquelme, Mascherano, Zabaleta, Lavezzi, Romero and of course Lionel Messi. The opponent was Nigeria.
You can forget about the game. A terrible match. It was like watching a football in a sauna and in slow motion. We as spectators suffered, but the players were tortured. If you look at the footages, you see how the players transpire.
And photographers? Well, they could not lower their camera. Or they might miss out on that one moment. I did that as well, being an amateur photographer high up in the stands. Hoping for that one shot. Argentina hoped as well for that one moment. One moment of brilliance from Messi. Well, they got served in the second half.
Messi provides the crucial pass to Angél di Maria. Di Maria dribbles to the goal. With a subtle movement of the foot he chips the ball over the keeper. I’m sure that we both know at that exact moment that we got the ultimate shot.
It’s probably not the same feeling, but I am happy all the same😉.