A young Limerick man said he was shocked at his newfound fame after a video of him at the World Cup went viral and was liked by everyone from Gary Lineker to Emmanuel Macron.
ddie O’Keefe was in the fan zone after the France v Denmark match in Doha on Saturday when he spotted a French TV crew conducting a live interview with one of their country’s supporters.
Without hesitation, Mr. O’Keefe interrupted the French fan and announced, “Je suis une baguette.”
For his part, the unimpressed French respondent dismissed Eddie’s input, saying he was “just a drunk Irishman”.
Mr O’Keefe wasn’t the only Irish supporter in the clip as his friend could be seen behind him in an Offaly jersey and a big foam finger.
“This thing has gone insane. My phone bounces all day. Not a cow was milked, a baby was washed or an email was sent all day from my side. My phone just jumped and I don’t know how it got so crazy,” he told Cork’s 96Fm opinion line Program.
Mr O’Keefe said he used his “impeccable timing” to surprise the French television crew and attributed the prank to Irish “nonsense”.
“I don’t know where it came from. “Je suis une baguette” came out of my mouth and I just ran. We’re always up for mischief like the Irish, always just for fun, for mischief and sure we just laughed. We had a few drinks in us too,” he said.
French comedian Pierre-Antoine Damecour tweeted the clip, which was picked up by former England striker and BBC presenter Gary Lineker, who gave it his approval with two laughing emojis. Mr O’Keefe said he grew legs from there, as RTÉ’s George Hamilton later replied: “Who’s the boy in green?” The video, which has since been viewed more than 50,000 times, even received a like from French President Emmanuel Macron’s official Twitter account.
One person who was less impressed was Eddie’s mother, who scolded him for the impulsive outburst.
“[She was] disgusted, ‘what are you doing you damn eejit’,” said Mr. O’Keefe, paraphrasing his mom.
“They are mothers, don’t they always give in? It’s funny, it just blew up, I can’t believe it.”
Originally from Kilfinane, Mr O’Keefe lives in Dubai where he works as an engineer for Amazon and he has been traveling to Doha with a group of friends in the past few days.
Flights to Doha are currently very expensive, but the price of petrol in the region is relatively cheap. So they drove nine hours to the World Cup.
“Flights are gone up to €1,800. It’s mental… It cost about €200 round trip, nine hours each way,” he said.
Mr O’Keefe’s new fame comes as the French baguette is inscribed on the UN’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage as a cherished tradition that humanity must preserve.
Unesco experts gathered in Morocco this week decided the simple French flute – made with just flour, water, salt and yeast – deserved UN recognition.
However, Mr O’Keefe said he could not be credited for helping the French bid.
“Doubt it, it’s certainly just a coincidence,” he added.
“If it made a few people laugh, happy days. The feedback on it seems to be pretty positive anyway… Sure, if you have a bit of Dutch courage in you, you’ll do anything.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/world-cup/its-gone-mad-limericks-world-cup-baguette-man-speaks-out-about-viral-video-42188064.html ‘It’s gotten crazy’ – Limerick’s World Cup baguette man comments on viral video