Let’s hear it for the losers

When covering any sports event, those on the desk are inevitably faced with the decision of which picture to use to convey the story. We almost always resort to the celebratory ones. But there’s something to be said for the photos of the athletes in varying degrees of devastation, sprawled out on the turf as it all sinks in.

Sometimes, pictures capture both. Like that photo from the 2015 Cricket World Cup. You know the one?

Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Steyn described it as one of his best sporting moments. The power in simplicity went viral.

When Algeria knocked Ivory Coast out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday night, similar scenes unfolded. The Foxes’ Baghdad Bounedjah had missed a penalty in regulation time and spent much of the match in tears on the bench. That in itself was powerful, but it wasn’t until it was all over that the most touching photos emerged.

Algeria, one of the favourites for the title, are quite a nasty team. Not as human beings, but they play hard and rough. Not quite as nasty as Tunisia, mind you.

And yet, even in those whirlwind moments, where celebrations began sweeping them up, they showed some courtesy. One photo stood out.

Max Gradel consoled by Andy Delort of Algeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

As the kids would say: all the feels.

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Antoinette Muller
Antoinette is a recovering journalist. She's a multi-award winner and thinks it's strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she's playing as herself in The Sims.