As the World Cup festivities were occurring after Argentina captured the victory, fans were quick to point out Salt Bae’s aggressive gestures towards Lionel Messi.
Nusret Gokce, the Turkish chef nicknamed “Salt Bae” who exploded into fame from his viral cooking videos, was spotted grabbing Messi and continually tapping him on the shoulder to try and get his attention. Eventually the Argentinian superstar shook his hand before wandering off.
Gokce was also seen slapping the World Cup trophy next to Ángel Di María, who scored Argentina’s second goal, and biting into goalkeeper Franco Armani’s medal while it was still around his neck.
Fans were quick to question Salt Bae’s involvement in victory celebrations. The solid gold World Cup trophy is only meant to be held by former winners of the tournament and heads of state. Salt Bae is neither and some fans made it known they didn’t agree with him being around the trophy.
““F–king absurd. Who let Salt Bae out on the pitch? Saw a bunch of photos of him HOLDING the World Cup trophy, and even a picture of him biting on a medal,” one fan tweeted.
Another fan also said “The day after the World Cup final and I’m seeing more of Salt Bae holding the trophy than the players.”
Clearly the viral chef’s fame hasn’t superseded that of Messi and the Argentinian squad who won the World Cup on Sunday. Maybe the 2026 winners will be more supportive.
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