Nusret Gökçe, better known by his viral name Salt Bae, has honoured the late Diego Maradona by permanently reserving the football legend's favourite table at his Dubai restaurant.
Sharing the gesture on social media, Gökçe posted a video showing a framed picture of the Argentinian striker placed on the table, alongside a candle and a “reserved” sign.
“This was your favourite table @maradona Table is reserved forever for you. RIP Legend,” he wrote alongside the video, which has been liked by more than 780,000 people in 12 hours.
Since the news of Maradona’s death on Wednesday at the age of 60, Gökçe has shared a number of tributes to the star, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Among the memories is a video of Maradona visiting the Nusr-Et Dubai restaurant in 2018, during which Gökçe seemed to have quite the effect on him.
The video shows the Turkish butcher serving Maradona ribs, pulling out the bones in his typically theatrical fashion. Maradona is then given the chance to sprinkle some coarse sea-salt onto his dish - in the style made famous by Gökçe's #SaltBae memes.
In the video, Maradona seems overcome with emotion at the sight the chef's butchery skills, and even appears to have tears in his eyes, before remarking in Spanish at how “limpia” or “clean” the process is. A second video shows Maradona, who at the time was Fujairah Football Club Manager, hugging Gökçe while other guests in the restaurant cheer.
The 1986 World Cup-winning captain died of a heart attack at home in Tigre, Argentina, where he was recovering following recent brain surgery.