The most striking images of European sports come together in our Top 10.

Chosen by a panel of photographers and editors, here they are, along with the inside stories from the expert photographers that shot them.

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Martin Rose

Miroslav Klose is prolific for the German team at World Cups. This was his 15th goal at a World Cup Finals and as he scored, I hoped he would perform his special celebration. He only does a flip for special goals but all goals at the World Cup are special!

It’s hard to get a good picture of a player doing a flip as quite often you only see the back of the player and not his face. Fortunately the peak of his flip was as he was just coming past and I could see his face in the picture and he’s high in the air.

Photography is about luck sometimes, but I was glad I had framed the picture well and got it in focus!

Al Bello

I had never shot center court at Wimbledon. I have patiently waited many years for this moment and wanted to do well. I was still learning the court when Nadal played the second match of the day. I did know that he was a lefty and I also know he is an exciting dynamic player to photograph. So lunging forehand shots needed to be made on the right side of the baseline opposite umpire.

Having watched Wimbledon on TV, I knew that the players tend to lunge and dive a little more because the grass is forgiving on the body. I positioned myself against the light and chose a full crowd of people as my background . I wanted to blur the crowd more than usual so I used an 85mm lens at F1.2 . Nadal had slipped lunging for the ball and was just getting his footing when I shot the sequence. Most of the frames were out of focus because of the shallow depth of field but luckily this picture worked out ok.

Mike Hewitt

As an England fan, I wish the ball was in the back of the net with Rooney rather than him having fallen in after hitting the post. This was in the match when England were 'Suarezed.'

The photo was taken on a remote camera set in the middle of the goal and angled towards the left hand post. To get anything on a remote camera is serendipitous but I felt quite ambivalent to find Wayne Rooney tangled in the net in the middle of the frame. I knew it was a visual allegory of England's World Cup campaign but I really wish he'd scored and we were making our merry way to the final...

Clive Mason

For this game, my first in Manaus, I had decided to work from the media tribune. It had rained hard all day and as part of my FIFA brief I had to shoot the VVIPs in hospitality, so was consequently dressed accordingly and shooting from the tribune, which is dry, was obviously a bonus and not to be sniffed at!

Given the all areas access that we are afforded as FIFA photographers, I had checked out the tribune and found that the angle was rather high and I was looking down too much on any play on my near touchline. I had then decided to drop down a couple of levels and stand behind the crowd at a much shallower angle which I found much nicer and shoot from there. This also gave me the flexibility to move with the play a little more. I ended up shooting Croatia attack both halves as, to be honest, the colours of their strip worked much better with the green of the pitch.
This particular frame was one in a sequence of four pictures and this is my favourite given the position of the ball and Croatias Mario Mandzukic's outstretched leg as he controls the ball and keeps possession away from Cameroons Nicolas N'Koulou.

Clive Rose

I was positioned in the tribune for this particular match and noticed the stadium (probably the only one at the World Cup) was designed to have public access all the way around the top section giving a 360 degree viewing area. The newly redesigned Maracana stadium is stunning so during a break in play I wondered around experimenting with wide angle lenses to try and find a nice image and noticed the underside of the roof was lit with a unique and colourful light. The image reminds me of fireworks or candles on a cake which is apt in this case as the stadium is the centre piece of this year’s World Cup.

Dan Istitene

Photo opportunities with Grand Slam winners are normally frantic gatherings as members of the media jostle for position and attempt to organise proceedings. This year’s event for the French Open Women’s champion Maria Sharapova was slightly different as she brought the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen to a busy Trocadero, packed with weekend tourists attempting to get photos of friends and family in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower. Mild intrigue created by the waiting group of press photographers turned swiftly to frenzy upon Sharapova’s arrival surrounded by bodyguards.

As I was working alongside tennis supremo Clive Brunskill, who was shooting from a number of positions closer to Maria, I could afford to move around in the large crowd of people to get a wider shot of the event that would hopefully show a bit of the atmosphere and intense interest in the tennis star.

Andrew Redington

I was following Martin Kaymer in the third round of the US Open since he was the runaway leader. Here he played his second shot on the third hole and I got some luck since a lot of sand flew up as he took a divot. The sand makes quite a nice shape and is clearly visible because the dark trees in the background have gone nicely out of focus due to shooting on 200-400 zoom. At first it looks like a bunker shot, with all the sand flying up in the air! Kaymer went on to win the tournament by 8 strokes.

Alex Livesey

I had landed in Maceio in the early hours of June 11th to be in place for later that day to shoot the official portraits of the Ghana team ahead of the World Cup in Brazil. When I woke up I decided to go for a walk as the team hotel was situated on a lovely stretch of beach and I had plenty of time before I needed to set up my studio.

After a short time I came across a group of boys playing football on the beach and even though the mid-morning light wasn’t ideal I thought that I would run back and get my cameras as this might make some nice preview pictures. Other Getty photographers had already been busy in Rio capturing the customary silhouetted beach football of kids doing over head kicks on Ipanema and I felt like I needed to join in.

When I eventually returned the group had stopped playing football and had gone swimming. I looked up and down the beach but to my amazement no one else was playing, I thought it was non-stop in Brazil? I also noticed that as I hung around the beach area the tide was actually coming in and to the point that there was no space to play football, bang goes my chance of any pictures.

So I headed back to the hotel but this time I took a different route and past some old boats which were sitting higher up on the beach. Beyond them was an area marked out as a football pitch. No one was playing at this time but I hoped maybe before it got dark some kids may turn up to play. I could just about see the football pitch from my hotel window so I kept a look out as the sun started to get low and the clouds moved in until eventually I saw a football fly in to the air and a group start a game. I ran down with my cameras and managed to shoot some frames before it went too dark. I may not have had the beautiful orange sunset of Ipanema beach but the beautiful and picturesque Maceio beach lent itself to a great location to shoot the local kids playing their most popular sport, beach football.

Andrew Hone

This is the first time I've shot the Le Mans 24 Hours, it's a race I have always wanted to shoot, and in the fact that I cover the F1 season normally it's great to have change in scenery and experience another series. The atmosphere at this race is unrivalled, the pre race show and anticipation of the crowd before 3pm as the cars cross the line to begin the 24 hours is a must see experience for any motor sports fan.

The shot you see was taken at around 2:30am during the race on 200mm & 0.5 second exposure. It's not often I find myself at a racetrack with this much time on my hands so I thought I'd make the most of it and see what I could make by panning through the fairground in the background at the final chicane on the circuit. So I put some music on my ipod and and just shot through the night, doing what I love the most, shooting racing cars!

It's hard to pan the cars this slow because they are moving in all directions, bouncing off of kerbs etc. but managed to get this one of the Toyota's which was one of the prettier looking cars.

Ryan Pierse

This was my opening match of the Brazil World Cup and also a replay of the final in South Africa in 2010. There was massive hype beforehand and the match did not disappoint. The Dutch were on fire and star striker Robin van Persie produced a superman like header to blow away Spain’s hopes. He turned and ran towards the bench where he was welcomed by a beaming Louis van Gaal. The Dutch and new Man Utd gaffer lined up for a big high five, a rare display of emotion between manager and player, and hopefully a sign of things to come in his Mancunian reign.

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