Salt Bae or better known as Nusret Gökçe has been sparking some controversy after he was seen going up to Argentinian players minutes after the end of the World Cup final. When players were emotionally reconnecting with their families and with themselves, Salt Bae was seen pursuing them for photos and videos. His encounter with Lionel Messi particularly was extremely uncomfortable as Messi looked shocked to see him at such a time, Messi was seen in a video attempted to avoid the unwanted attention, but Salt Bae grabbed Leo’s arm twice.
It is quietly known that upon the World Cup final match, the winning team gets to celebrate with their family members who should be the only ones given access to the pitch at that time. Nevertheless, we shared Messi’s astonishment when we saw Salt Bae running to the Argentinian side to capture images and videos that were later uploaded on his social media accounts.
It wasn’t just Lionel Messi who was ‘forced’ to pose for a picture with him, but also Ángel Di María who scored the second goal of the match for Argentina. After these images, Salt Bae was also observed chewing on another player’s medal while being pictured alongside Argentina’s Lisandro Martinez.
In light of this act, FIFA has been looking into how people gained unauthorized access to the field after the Lusail Stadium closing ceremony on Dec. 18. stating, “the appropriate internal action will be taken,” a spokesman told the BBC. This is because only the players from the winning team of the world cup, as well as FIFA officials and leaders of state, are permitted to hold the trophy. Moreover, the US Open Cup banned him from the finals due to his behaviour.
In a chance of redemption, Salt Bae shared a video on his Instagram account of Messi and Paul Pogba conversing and shaking hands at one of his eateries. The main question here is, did he publish this video immediately following the incident to demonstrate how their friendship dates back a long time and that Messi was not as enraged as we initially thought? Messi is likely not thinking of Salt Bae at the moment and is probably preparing his way to Paris to begin the season with his current team, Paris-Sainte-Germain (PSG), after having accomplished his dream.
Whether the video uploaded by Salt Bae is old or new it has not calmed enraged football fans who accuse this as stunt to gain more followers on social media and has attempted to take away from such a proud and prestigious moment for Argentina.
But Who is Salt Bae?
Salt Bae comes from Turkey and his technique for preparing and seasoning meat has become an Internet sensation and for his pricey restaurants. Throughout his career, he met with a number of key figures and even royal families like Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Queen Rania during his trip to Jordan back in 2017. He also served his famous gold-covered steak to athletes like David Beckham and Kylian Mbappe and other celebrities like Usher, Leonardo DiCaprio and Naomi Campbell.
Although Salt Bae is an internet superstar, it is still difficult to understand why someone in his position would be given access to such a prominent moment that is very unique to the winning team and their families only. We’ll have to wait and see what FIFA’s investigations reveals, but let us tell you that Salt Bae will no longer be the most-liked person on social media these days.