Salt Bae tries to 'save' himself with Lionel Messi video but fans aren't buying it
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Salt Bae has been accused of trying to 'save' himself by sharing a video featuring Lionel Messi after the chef was hit with criticism for his behaviour at the World Cup.
The restaurant owner, whose real name is Nusret Gökçe, encountered Messi after Argentina beat France in penalties to become the 2022 World Cup champions on Sunday (18 December), but his video shared yesterday was actually filmed a few years before their more recent meeting. You can watch their interaction below:
Salt Bae's video followed up a series of other posts he shared this week which showed him posing alongside Messi and brazenly lifting the golden World Cup trophy over his head in celebration of Argentina's win.
FIFA states very clearly on its website that the right to touch the World Cup trophy is reserved 'only for a select group of people', which includes former winners of the tournament and heads of state.
That list clearly does not include internet famous chefs, but still Salt Bae could be seen in another video pretending to sprinkle salt on the trophy and seemingly even attempting to take it from footballer Lisandro Martinez.
The chef was widely criticised for the move, with football fans saying he had 'no respect' for the trophy and branding the scene 'embarrassing'.
His photo with Messi also received backlash, with one Instagram user writing: "shame on you harassing messi for this prize photo."
Salt Bae described Messi as 'the champion' in a caption which accompanied the video he shared yesterday, and the footage showed the pair shaking hands, hugging and posing for a photo together at the chef's restaurant in Dubai.
Unfortunately for the chef, the footage of his seemingly friendly interaction with Messi wasn't enough to convince fans that his behaviour at the World Cup was acceptable.
Football fans quickly flooded the chef's comments section with criticism, with one writing: "Now you’re trying to make out like you’re friends??"
Another commented: "A video from 2018, this ain’t gonna save you bro," while a third wrote: "Basically posted this to redeem himself. 'Messi knows me, look, he’s waiting to shake my hand!'"
While Messi seemed happy enough to pose for a picture with Salt Bae four years ago, it evidently wasn't his first priority after winning the World Cup on Sunday as footage showed the chef being ignored twice by the footballer before he agreed to pose for a photo.