This is the dramatic moment a photographer escaped serious injury as celebrating Spanish footballers saved her from falling off an open-top bus.
Nuri Margui was knocked off balance as the vehicle carrying Girona ’s newly-promoted players went under a tree during a celebratory city drive-through in front of jubilant fans. Arnau Martinez, one of the goalscorers who made sure the Catalan side will play against the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga next season, was one of the stars who rushed to her aid.
Chilling footage as the back of the open-top bus came into view shows Margui being held by her left ankle and right wrist by Martinez and teammates Ramon Terrats and Gabri. The photographer, who serves the club in an official capacity, never let go of her camera as she dangled perilously in mid-air
Conscious she was in grave danger, police could be seen rushing up to the back of the bus to try to cushion her fall, should she have plunged to the tarmac below, with other vehicles close behind. Fortunately, the heroic footballers were able to hold onto her and pull her back on-board unharmed.
Girona are back in La Liga three seasons after relegation from Spain’s top-flight. The club sealed promotion with a 3-1 away victory against Tenerife, with Martinez on the scoresheet. In the wake of the celebrations, Margui posted footage of the incident on her professional Instagram site and joked: “Whatever happens, don’t let go of your camera.”
Local Pau Villafane, who also shared a clip of the incident, added: “Arnau Martinez. From Tenerife’s killer to the photographer’s saviour.” As well as its leading football club, the city is also celebrating the promotion of Girona’s basketball team to Spain’s top-tier Liga ACB, known as the Liga Endesa for sponsorship reasons.
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The football team only sneaked into the La Liga 2 play-off places due to their superior head-to-head record on Real Oviedo, who also tallied 68 points from 42 league games. From there, manager Michel firstly led Girona to victory over Eibar – considered a shock result given that the latter had just missed out on automatic promotion by one point and were 10 clear of Las Palmas in fourth.
After losing the first leg 1-0 at home, the White and Reds overturned the tie with a 2-0 win on the road thanks to goals from Broja Garcia and former Southampton flop Christian Stuani. Girona would then pull off another upset in similar circumstances against Tenerife, drawing 0-0 in their first meeting before a superb triumph away from home to seal their promotion.