Turkish chef Salt Bae has been slammed by fans the world over for forcing his way into a photo op with Lionel Messi during the World Cup.
Nusret Gökçe, better known as Salt Bae, rose to internet stardom in 2017 when videos of his signature salting technique made waves online.
He’s since entertained many celebrities at his restaurants, including the likes of David Beckham, Diddy, and Naomi Campbell. Notably, the Turkish food entertainer previously met Argentine footballer Lionel Messi.
But many people agree that Salt Bae’s recent antics with the FIFA World Cup winner went a few steps too far.
Fans roast Salt Bae for behavior with Lionel Messi at the World Cup
This past Sunday, Messi led Argentina to a World Cup title against France. In the immediate aftermath of the win, though, viewers at home took note of one awkward moment – Salt Bae’s intrusion.
The world-renowned chef was spotted chasing after Messi for a photo opportunity, grabbing at the footballer when his attempts to slow him down were ignored.
Salt Bae eventually managed to get a quick picture alongside Messi, but few were impressed with the way he went about doing so.
Barstool Sports’ Bobby Reagan joked the pro footballer deserved another trophy for dodging for Salt Bae for so long:
Others called it harassment, with some folks pointing out that FIFA shouldn’t have allowed the restauranteur on the pitch at all. Salt Bae pulling aside other World Cup champions for pictures with the gold trophy has similarly been viewed as “cringe.”
Suffice it to say, Salt Bae distracting Messi and other players from the World Cup celebrations won’t be remembered fondly.