Drago Sopta’s photo of Šime Vrsaljko on Croatian flag photo named 4th best in the world

Šime Vrsaljko lying on the Croatian flag

The first edition of the AIPS Sports Media Awards was held on January 21 in Lausanne, Switzerland. An outstanding 1273 submissions from 119 countries were received, with a high quality level. 24 finalists received awards throughout 8 different categories. Drago Sopta, the Croatian Football Federation’s official photographer, was a finalist in the Photography – Sport Action category for his photo of Šime Vrsaljko lying on the Croatian flag after Croatia’s World Cup semi-final win over England.

The photo went viral after the World Cup and was a huge hit on social media. There were even replica cakes and tattoos made of the photo. Sopta’s photo was voted fourth in the world.


1. VINCENT RIEMERSMA, Skating Shadows, PZC (Netherlands)

2. ALEXEY FILIPPOV, Fourcade, Sputnik (Russia)

3. NORBERT SCHMIDT, Mud Fight, Norbert Schmidt Sports Photo (Germany)

4. DRAGO SOPTA, Šime Vrsaljko on flag, HNS (Croatia)


The winning photo (Photo: Vincent Riemersma)


2nd placed photo (Photo: Alexey Filippov)


3rd placed photo (Photo: Nobert Schmidt) 


Founded in 1924 in Paris, AIPS is the peak professional body representing the international sports media, with more than 9,000 members worldwide, from leading international daily newspapers, websites, periodicals and radio and television channels across five continents.

The AIPS Sport Media Awards are the highest international accolade in the sport media industry. The Awards, currently in their first edition, offer recognition to the very best sport storytellers across all media platforms, from photography to video, from print to digital, from podcasts to sports blog (https://www.aipsawards.com/). The submissions for the 2019 edition will open on March 1, 2019.

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