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.

Vote for your favorite!

Tullio M. Puglia

I have been the official photographer of Palermo since 2008. They’re not a top team but during the last 10 years they’ve performed very well, qualifying more than once for the Europa League and playing in three Coppa Italia Finals, although without winning a trophy.

This year Palermo have been playing in the Serie B championship and gained promotion to Serie A with 5 games remaining. Moments of celebration like this are so rare, but when they happen they are particularly exciting and engaging.

This picture shows the joy promotion brought to the players at the end of the match against Novara. Players were gathering to celebrate with their supporters when Gennaro Troianiello, a great leader, although he didn't play a lot during this season, inspired by the movie "300" and the exploits of the Spartan commander Leonida, jumped on billboards tearing off his celebrative shirt and galvanizing supporters and teammates.

I shot with a Nikon D4s and a 14-24mm f/2.8 and these are the moments when you realize how useful, although exhausting, it is working old style with three cameras and even more, how important it is being part of a close-knit team


Shaun Botterill

This picture is from the Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid.

Things were fairly straight forward at this match until Real equalised in added time. After equalising so late and celebrating so crazy the coach's main concern is to keep his players concentrating.

Carlo Ancellotti had said his words when Zinedin Zidane leapt up to add his words. The look of surprise on Ancellotti's face is what makes the picture. Even he is shocked at the words and reaction from his assistant.

There were lot's of celebration pictures from the evening but it shows that with so much at stake there are others pictures happening that can be overlooked.

Stuart Franklin

The picture was taken at the end of the German cup final in Berlin. It was a rerun of the champions league final between fc bayern Munich and Dortmund. Bayern had won the game in extra time which was a little unlucky for Dortmund as they had scored in normal time only for the goal to have been disallowed. The win was important for bayern as since winning the bundesliga in the fastest time ever, there form had dropped.
Pep Guardiola, the Bayern coach, is seen in the picture getting a full on beer shower from Daniel van Buyten. I had just taken a picture of him with Franck Ribery, which I was happy with as Pep does stay around long when the celebrations start. As I turned to see who else was around I saw van Buyten coming with the beer. I was able to get in the perfect position for the shot.
Having already been soaked by the rain during the game a little beer  wasn't going to dampen my enthusiasm....

Julian Finney - @JulianFinney

Rome Tennis is always one of my favourite events of the year.

Normally basking in full sunlight there's always opportunity for some good photography. The venue is situated by the Stadio Olympico and Olympic Swimming Pool both used for the Rome Olympics in 1960. So it has kept its old look with roman statues surrounding the venue.

Around 5.00pm every day and weather permitting the light creates a vibrant colour on the clay and the shadows becoming longer by the minute.

The best place for an action shot is on the centre court at the top of the stand. It’s one of the steepest shots in tennis. After a careful walk up the stairs, avoiding kids sitting in the stairway, you look down on play.

Novak Djokovic is seen here stretching for a shot and even releasing his racket in a desperate attempt to retrieve the ball. He failed and lost the point but went on to win the title. It’s quite rare to see a racket thrown to win a point but it created a nice body and shadow shape at the decisive point. This was a very quick moment as he moved right across the court at high speeds.

It was captured with a canon 1dx, 400mm lens at ISO100, f3.2 1/3200th sec.


Clive Mason - @CliveJMason

This picture is taken from The Winston Churchill Suite in the Hotel de Paris on casino square. We get access from a client, Senate Grand Prix, they have suites and hospitality areas in most if the main hotels in Monte Carlo and kindly let us have access to most, if not all of what is available.

These areas are full of paying guests so it's a bit tricky to get to right to where you want to be as you can't really be getting in the way of the guests but on this occasion, I was able to get to where I wanted to be for the first 15 minutes of practice and luckily, all the top cars came out.

This year, the Saturday was the only day that we had blue skies and sunshine so luckily, this was the day we had arranged to shoot from the position, it wouldn't be half so nice with a grey sky and no sun.

It's shot on a 14mm lens to show as much of the harbour as is possible from that position and to create impact.

For any fans of f1 and for those familiar with pictures from around Monaco and to help work out where the picture is, the car in this picture is positioned right outside the Gucci boutique, which is quite a famous picture from the Monaco GP.

There are many high vantage points around the streets of Monaco but personally, this is one of my favourites and it's only the second time in my 15 years or so of visiting Monaco that I have had the opportunity to shoot it...(so please vote for it!!!!)

Shaun Botterill

When the final whistle went at the end of the Champions League final in Lisbon there was only one player to focus on. Ronaldo.

Ten years after reaching the European Championship Finals with Portugal only to lose infront of his home crowd he was always going to celebrate. He'd gone wild after scoring from the penalty spot during extra time but I think this shows his relief at winning in Lisbon in his home country.

Happy or sad, Ronaldo makes a picture!

Andrew Redington - @ReddersGolf

This shot came at the end of a very eventful week for Rory McIlroy at The European Tour's flagship event the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Rory split from his fiancée, tennis player Caroline Wozniacki prior to his Wednesday press conference and to pull off a win after being in the spotlight all week was phenomenal.

We knew that the winner would come out to the raised bridge from the 18th green to the recording area. I arrived in position a little after my colleagues who were more head-on. Consequently, I decided to try something a bit different and use the huge photograph of Rory a backdrop. I didn't really know what to expect but Rory was just about tall enough (!!!) to be visible over the glass walls. He then did a great job of getting maximum spray from the champagne and even got it to curve in the air in the same arc as his cap....

Shaun Botterill

I took this picture after the presentation at the FA Cup Final.

Jack Wilshere had come on as a substitute towards the end. Wilshere is one of Arsenal's most passionate players and a big favourite with the fans.

I watched him go to the supportors to grab the hat and scarf and then just followed as the fans mobbed him. In these situations players rarely look straight at you as there is such chaos going on. It looks like a glorified selfie!!

David Rogers

What a night! The East Midlands derby is one of the oldest in world club rugby.

I have photographed many of these matches but non like this one. The atmosphere was more than electric, it was nuclear! T

his was the semi final of the Aviva Premiership. Northampton Saints had failed to beat their closest rivals from up the Welford Road in the past ten encounters. Leicester Tigers had taken a first half lead through tries from Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs.

The writing, yet again, was on the wall. Another Saints defeat loomed. Saints managed to hang in there with the help of Stephen Meyler’s boot, a succession of penalties kept them in the chase. Then the incident happened which sparked the saints revival. A scrum broke up and the ball was passed wide but while this was happening Tom Youngs of Leicester and Salesi Ma'afu of Saints were exchanging punches. Now these are not uncommon occurrences in Rugby, the pressure builds up and something has to give but this was different. These punches hit their target. Normally it's a case of handbags at dawn and no one is struck hard... not this time!

Youngs is knocked down only to get up and be shown the yellow card by the referee. Ten minutes in the sin bin for him. Salesi Ma'afu  is shown the red and is sent off. Somehow this inspires the 14 man Saints team and they seem determined to win the match and when George North scores a try, the comeback is on.

Tom Wood the Saints talisman captain dived over in the corner in the final minute to score the match winning try and their dream comes true. Cue the incredible scenes of celebrations from players and supporters alike. It had been the best club rugby match I had ever seen in Britain, failing a fly past by the Red Arrows this match had absolutely everything! Incredible.


Mark Thompson - @F1Thommo

Every Thursday before a race the drivers take part in an autograph session. As you can imagine these get pretty repetitive so I was happy to get something good from this session ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

For a silhouette to work you need the subject to have a distinctive profile, which fortunately Nico has. Overzealous ecurity guards can be hard to work with at these times but despite the face Rosberg was winning the F1 championship at this point it was much harder to photograph the start attraction Lewis Hamilton.

Security gave me just enough space to work with and I was helped by the fact most other snappers had left to photograph Fernando Alonso!


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