The most striking images of European sports come together in our Top 10. Here they are, along with the inside stories from the expert photographers that shot them.
Dave Cannon - @Cannonball63
Caption: Fans watch the play on the 16th hole during the third round of the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club
The 16th hole at Augusta is one of the great viewing holes in golf anywhere. It's made more special because it is the 16th hole on one of the world's most iconic golf courses and sporting venues! Augusta is unique in major golf as it is the only major played on the same course every year. This year was my 31st consecutive visit to this wonderful tournament.
The Masters is also unique in that it is the only tournament anywhere in the world that does not allow photographers inside the ropes. This brings a unique challenge and though we do not have the access the sheer beauty of the place makes up in a lot of ways for this challenge.
The 16th hole and especially the view from the top of the hill looking down on the hole, is one of my favourite hunting spots on the course. On a sunny afternoon and when the azaleas are blooming it gives a great view. I used a 24 to 105 Canon EF f2.8 lens on a Canon 1DX body. The hole also looks so beautiful late in an afternoon when the shadows begin to creep over the green.
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno
Caption: Koke of Club Atletico de Madrid celebrates scoring the opening goal with David Villa of Club Atletico de Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at Vicente Calderon Stadium
On match day I was covering the south-side goal of the stadium. I decided to position myself on the right of goal mainly because the goal line extra official used in UEFA matches often gets in the way while shooting from the left-hand or bench-side. I also positioned myself there as Atletico de Madrid’s Diego Costa was injured that night and I thought their other striker David Villa would be playing primarily on the left wing.
I was able to shoot Koke’s goal, the only one of the match, without having to change camera during his run. His celebrated his goal running straight at me near the corner flag but he was interrupted along the way by his teammate David Villa embracing him. They both merged together and I had trouble maintaining focus. Fortunately my best shot was one where the goalposts behind them didn’t disturb the image.
From this goal Atletico de Madrid eliminated FC Barcelona from the biggest European competition and sealed their pass to the semi-finals for the first time in their 40 years history in UEFA's Champions League, formerly the European Cup.
Bryn Lennon - @BrynLennon
Caption: Tom Boonen of Belgium and Omega Pharma-QuickStep in action during the 112th edition of the Paris - Roubaix cycle race from Compiegne to Roubaix
As a Belgian hero and perennial pre-race favourite, Tom Boonen was always going to be important to a photographer’s coverage of Paris-Roubaix. In this image he is about two thirds of the way through the race in a select group of riders and his commitment to getting around the corner as fast as he could was clearly evident. Paris-Roubaix is a race of attrition and while tactics play a huge part in cycle racing, Roubaix can often be one race where simply the strongest person wins.
This stop is usually far enough into the race to get a decent, unobstructed frame of the potential winners. After a few riders and cars the dust remains in the air and it creates a fine line between making an atmospheric image and being unable to see any of the riders. The crowd is always good and close to the riders on the Cysoing to Bourghelles secteur of cobbles. After this corner, the course loops around to the left, so when the riders have passed, everyone rushes 200m across the field to catch them again before they disappear to the next secteur.
It was shot on a Canon 1DX and a 24-70mm lens (@ 65mm/1/1600sec/f/4.0/ISO 200). This was a particularly rough section of cobbles and as a result you need to shoot at a slightly higher shutter speed than normal to stop any extra movement in their heads and faces which may be caused by the cobbles. The bikes they ride have nominal modification from their normal road bikes, so they ride as fast as they can over the cobbles to get a smoother passage over them.
John Powell - @LFC
Caption: A mosaic is displayed by fans on the Kop as the two teams hold a minute's silence in honour of the 25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy
I was aware that the fans on The Kop were to display a mosaic as the two teams held a minute's silence. So I thought if I could get a high position this would enable me to keep the teams clear (but involved) and the full mosaic could be seen. I worked at Hillsborough on the day and know how very special this mosaic was being the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy. It turned out well and I know that all Liverpool supporters would like to thank all football fans throughout the world for their support.
Caption: Andy Murray and Colin Fleming of Great Britain in action against Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini of Italy during day two of the Davis Cup World Group Quarter Final match between Italy and Great Britain at Tennis Club Napoli
The tennis club in Napoli rarely gets to host Davis Cup matches so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived. The stadium was formed from temporary stands on the site of the car park. That doesn’t sound like the ingredients for a great venue but in fact the atmosphere was incredible and the view was just as good!
This was Andy Murray’s 2nd match of the day as he battled with his team mate and friend Colin Fleming in the doubles rubber. GB went 2 sets up but Italy came back strong, helped by an incredibly hostile crowd. The football stadium in the city has a reputation for its intimidating atmosphere and the people of Naples don’t carry that through from the football.
Britain eventually battled through in a tie-break. Despite being temporary, this is one of the best views I’ve seen from a court. The weather was great and it seems like the city itself is spilling into the arena. It must of felt like that as the boys battled through to victory in that intense atmosphere.
Dani Pozo - @danilamalice
Caption: Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) final 'Clasico' football match FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid CF at the Mestalla stadium
While I was waiting in the queue with my colleagues before entering to the stadium, we talked about what positions we would take up around the pitch. We had five shooters so one would have to shoot from above in the terraces with the other four pitch-side with one in each corner.
With five minutes to go and the match at 1-1 and extra time looming, Gareth Bale of Real Madrid made an incredible sprint to outpace Barcelona's Marc Bartra covering 59 meters in a mere 7.04 seconds and scoring the winning goal. Moments before that I had changed my second camera’s lens from a 70-200 zoom lens to a 24-70 to give me a wider angle as I thought that if Real scored and celebrates in my corner, a wider angle would be more atmospheric with the full stadium in the background. And so it came to pass with Bale, uncommonly, celebrating his goal near the touchline of Barça’s supporters and I had the stroke of luck to freeze his leap of joy.
It's a moment in time. So brief. The instant when you realize you can shoot the photo you’ve always wanted to.
Alex Livesey - @LiveseyAlex
Caption: Ben Cee Pee M ridden by Craig Gallagher clears a fence during The £3 Million totescoop6 Today Handicap Hurdle Race at Haydock Racecourse
I was scheduled to photograph the English Premier League match between Hull City and Arsenal on this day but due to a fixture reshuffle the game had been moved. This left me unassigned and free to choose an event to cover which is a rare thing these days! I opted for a night of boxing in Manchester but I also realised that I could make it to the nearby Haydock Racecourse for an afternoon of horse racing before heading off to my night of pugilism.
Because this wasn’t a particularly big race meeting, I knew that I would have the freedom to concentrate on using my remote cameras and to just look for nice racing pictures rather than have the pressure of capturing the winning horse for each race.
The weather forecast was looking good and I knew that it was possible to shoot these fences in full light which is a great help when using remote cameras and shooting in to blue sky. I used a 16-35mm lens on my Canon 1DX to capture this image. The lens was set at 16mm and was shot at 3200sec @ f5.6.
Adam Pretty - @PorkChopPretty
Caption: Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a backhand during her match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland on day five of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix at Porsche Arena
This was taken during the semi final of the tournament. I’d already covered five days and positions court side were limited so I was looking to get something a little bit different. Slow shutter speed pictures can be frustrating to shoot, especially in tennis when movement is so erratic. I chose around 10th of a second as the shutter speed and shot tight. A vast amount of pictures don’t hold and it’s important to try and keep the subjects head still in the frame so it freezes in the picture, not easy to do when they are throwing themselves around a tennis court! I was really happy when this one worked. Maria pulls a great face after hitting her backhand and the movement in the frame adds to the drama.
Caption: Manu Tuilagi of Leicester powers over to score his second try and Leicester's third during the Aviva Premiership match between Leicester Tigers and London Wasps at Welford Road
Leicester Tigers’ famous old Welford Road stadium can be a tricky place to work as the backgrounds to the pictures can be very messy. This distracts from the action in the picture so on bright sunny days, I like to sit against the light and shoot into the sun. This helps remove the subject from the background. The exposure was about 1000th at f4 giving me a quick enough shutter speed to freeze any action coming my way.
I like this picture as it shows the immense power Manu Tuilagi has at his disposal. Having just come back from an injury which saw him undergo an operation to reattach his bicep to the bone in his arm, this was a clear message he was back to his best. Manu must have charged over from at least 10 yards out with the Wasps players desperately trying to hold him back. It was a spectacular moment and one that really translated into a good picture.
Jordan Mansfield - @JordanMansfield
Caption: Fans leave the stadium down Wembley Way after the FA Cup Semi-Final match between Wigan Athletic and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium
As part of a twelve-man team covering this year’s FA Cup Semi-Final weekend at Wembley, I was fortunate enough to be given the ‘roaming’ role: this involved climbing up to the lighting gantry that runs along the roof of the stadium – from which I was able to capture a wide view of the first halves below – before having the freedom to shoot the remainder of the games from various pitchside positions.
After a dramatic penalty shoot-out conclusion to the first of the Semi-Finals between Wigan Athletic and Arsenal, I raced my memory cards back to the trusty editors, made a hasty exit from the stadium, and ran the entire length of Wembley Way.
We wanted to capture the atmosphere as both sets of fans departed through the now familiar congestion. To achieve this, I clamped a Magic Arm to the bridge that runs above the crowds, allowing the camera to shoot a long-exposure and blur the supporters. Luckily, the extra-time stalemate and subsequent penalties delayed the end of the game, which resulted in the fans leaving just as dusk drew in. I stayed for an hour or so as the fading light made the light for this shot better and better.