Football fans have been outraged after restaurateur and social media personality Salt Bae was seen “grabbing” star player Lionel Messi following Argentina’s World Cup victory.

The Turkish chef, whose real name is Nusret Gökçe, rose to fame in 2017 after a video of him sprinkling salt on a steak went viral, giving him the now famous nickname “Salt Bae”.

After Argentina’s victory, Salt Bae was seen on camera touching Messi on the shoulder and grabbing his arms. After Messi appears to ignore him, Salt Bae touches his arm again and the footballer turns around and quickly shakes his hand before walking away.

Salt Bae then posted a video on TikTok of him standing on the court holding the trophy alongside Ángel Di María. In the clip, the chef smiles and takes a whack at the trophy before walking away.

Another image shows him biting into Franco Armani’s gold first-place medal while it was still around the goalkeeper’s neck.

Only a select group of people are allowed to touch and hold the FIFA World Cup trophy, which is made of solid gold and depicts two figures holding up the globe. Such exclusive individuals include former winners and heads of state, according to FIFA.

Fans were not impressed with Salt Bae’s participation in Argentina’s celebrations. Many questioned why he was allowed to hold the trophy and enter the field.

“Messi deserves another World Cup because Salt Bae didn’t give a f*ck,” sportswriter Bobby Reagan commented in a viral tweet.

One person tweeted: “F*ck, how absurd. Who let Salt Bae onto the court? I saw loads of pictures of him HOLDING the World Cup trophy, and even a picture of him biting down on a medal.”

“At least Messi knew that he shouldn’t pay attention to that guy who was trying to make HIS moment over HIM. He was desperately holding on to Messi ”.

Another person said: “One day after the World Cup final and I’m seeing more of Salt Bae holding the trophy than the players.”

A third wrote: “​ ​Why was Salt Bae on the court last night acting like he won the World Cup?

Others found the situation funny, with one fan tweeting: “Someone saw Salt Bae get snubbed by the greatest player ever. LOL”.

“HAHAHA Salt Bae/Nusret trying to get Messi’s attention and Messi rejecting him. Get that man away from my top player,” another wrote.

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