Eddie O’Keefe was in the fanzone after the France vs Denmark match in Doha on Saturday.
Without hesitation, Mr O’Keefe interrupted the French fan and proclaimed: “Je suis une baguette.”
For his part, the unimpressed French interviewee dismissed Eddie’s contribution, saying he was “just a drunk Irish man”.
Mr O’Keefe was not the only Irish supporter in the clip, as his friend could be spotted behind him wearing and Offaly jersey and a large foam finger.
“This thing has gone mad like. My phone has been hopping all day. There hasn’t been a cow milked, a baby washed or an email sent on my side for the entire day. My phone has just been hopping and I don’t know how it has gone so mad,” he told Cork’s 96Fm Opinion Line programme.
Mr O’Keefe said he used his “impeccable timing” when surprising the French TV crew and blamed the prank on Irish “mischief”.
“I don’t know where it came from. ‘Je suis une baguette’ came out of my mouth and I just ran off. We’re always up for mischief, Irish people like, always just up for the craic, up for mischief and sure we were just laughing away. We had a few drinks in us as well,” he said.
French comedian Pierre-Antoine Damecour tweeted the clip, which was picked up by former England striker and BBC host Gary Lineker, who gave it his approval with two laughing emojis. Mr O’Keefe said it grew legs from there, as RTÉ’s George Hamilton later replied: “Who’s the boy in green?” The video, which has now been viewed over 50,000 times, even got 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 fecking eejit’,” Mr O’Keefe said paraphrasing his mammy.
“They’re mothers, don’t they always be giving out? It’s funny, it’s just blown up, I can’t believe it.”
Kilfinane native Mr O’Keefe lives in Dubai where he works as an engineer for Amazon and he travelled to Doha in recent days with a group of friends.
He said flights to Doha are currently very expensive, but the price of petrol in the region is relatively cheap. So, they drove for nine hours to the World Cup.
“Flights are gone as much as like €1,800. It’s mental… It cost about €200 up and down, nine hours each way,” he said.
Mr O’Keefe’s new found fame comes as the French baguette is being added to the UN’s list of intangible cultural heritage as a cherished tradition to be preserved by humanity.
Unesco experts gathering in Morocco this week decided that the simple French flute – made only from flour, water, salt, and yeast – deserves UN recognition.
However, Mr O’Keefe said he could not take any credit for helping the French bid.
“Doubt it, surely it’s only a coincidence,” he added.
“If it made a couple of people laugh, then 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.”