For the first time in 36 years, Argentina are world champions. Lionel Messi finally has a World Cup. Sunday saw him star in one of the all-time great World Cup finals, as he went toe-to-toe with PSG teammate Kylian Mbappé in a frantic 3-3 classic, ultimately decided on penalties.
It was an almost unprecedented level of drama in football's biggest game, and the Argentine players were understandably emotional on the pitch at full-time.
After all the faff and delay in getting the trophy ceremony underway, Argentina's players would naturally have wanted to revel in the greatest moment of their footballing careers with friends and family in the Lusail Stadium.
Internet celebrity Salt Bae had other ideas. The chef was a guest of FIFA at the final, and was invited onto the pitch at full-time. Video footage shows several instances of him attempting to grab the World Cup trophy from Argentinean players, as well as hustling Lionel Messi for a chat.
Safe to say, his antics did not go down well with the World Cup winners.
Salt Bae pisses off Argentina players after World Cup final
Salt Bae - real name Nusret Gökçe - is a Turkish chef who rose to fame five years ago when his unique method of applying salt to the steaks in his restaurants went viral. His internet fame has seen him appear at several high-profile events down through the years.
Sunday's World Cup final was the latest appearance of Salt Bae at a major football game, after he infamously grabbed a photo with Liverpool's Mo Salah in the aftermath of his injury-shortened game in the 2018 Champions League final loss to Real Madrid.
Your shoulder dislocated from its socket within half an hour of the Champions League Final. Your World Cup hopes are likely in tatters. Last thing you need is Meatsweats McGhee doing his salt sprinkling noncery around you after the game pic.twitter.com/ocx8iZySmK
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) May 26, 2018
He was up to similar antics in Doha on Sunday, and the Argentina players were not impressed.
As he butted in attempting to grab photos with the entire squad, he tried to get his hands on the trophy on multiple occasions, drawing the ire of Angel di Maria, Lionel Messi, and more.
Di Maria appeared perplexed by Salt Bae's presence, especially after he slapped the World Cup trophy when being photographed with the Argentina man.
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) December 18, 2022
Di Maria was one of the Argentinean players who entertained Salt Bae's intrusion more than others.
Some players, like Manchester United's Lisandro Martinez, looked completely unimpressed by the chef's presence on the pitch.
Earlier in the tournament, Martinez was seen dining at Salt Bae's Doha restaurant, but even his affinity for the chef's cooking did not endear him to the Turk attempting to wrestle the World Cup trophy from his grasp.
— Antoine Llorca (@antoinellorca) December 20, 2022
In all honesty, Lisandro Martinez looked like he would have started a scrap if the cameras hadn't been on him.
Salt Bae shared video reels of him with the Argentinean players to his Instagram page. Inexplicably, he seemed intent on taking the trophy from the hands of just about every Argentina player he could.
The incident was made all the more confusing, given FIFA's official rules state that only World Cup winners or heads of state can touch the trophy. Salt Bae appeared intent on dodging that rule at every opportunity.
In one video, he appeared to refuse to let Christian Romero's child touch the trophy.
A collection of Salt Bae trying for clout with these players. So painful to watch. Like forcing himself between 2 players and trying to take the trophy away while players try to maintain professionalism, but their faces can be clearly read they are annoyed pic.twitter.com/BbChdBEK3M
— Kevin Huyghe (@JCUStreaks10) December 19, 2022
The man of the moment on Sunday was Lionel Messi. The greatest footballer of his generation finally added a World Cup trophy to his decorated honours list - but he was not immune to the advances of Salt Bae in Doha.
The Turkish chef was understandably keen to grab a moment of Messi's time - but, just as with the other players, he went completely over the top by practically dragging the Argentina man back to attempt to get his attention.
Messi appeared completely uninterested - and rightly so, in the pinnacle moment of his career.
Even Messi knows salt bae is a hack pic.twitter.com/c457o1GnHt
— Z Bo (@zekedabolina) December 18, 2022
Salt Bae did eventually manage to grab Lionel Messi for a photo. The image captured says it all about what Messi thought of the whole incident.
— sikkobaz (@Sesiniz20) December 19, 2022
The scenes with Salt Bae in Doha raise questions about what the place is for celebrity guests at such massive sporting occasions. We can't say his presence added much to the World Cup final, and it clearly got on the nerves of Argentina's players in their moment of triumph.