Safe to say that much like everyone, Manchester United player Jesse Lingard likes Black Panther after the pro soccer player did his best Wakandan salute following a huge goal during their match against Manchester. The 18th installment from the famed Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film directed by Ryan Coogler reunites us with Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa as he begins his stint as the new monarch of Wakanda. Boasting a slew of black talents both in front and behind the camera, the movie is breaking multiple box office records squashing the long-running myths about diversity in Hollywood.
Wakanda may be a fictitious destination, only existing in the Marvel comics and its cinematic universe, but everyone seems to be drawn to the African country where technology seamlessly blends with tradition and culture. The main setting of Black Panther, the hidden nation is nothing but fascinating. Production designer Hannah Beachler and Coogler did a great job in crafting the kingdom, representing an ideal society where people live harmoniously with each other.
Lingard proudly did the official Wakandan salute after delivering a goal resulting in a comeback win for United against the reigning Premier League champs. Fans who were watching the game immediately spotted the athlete’s cool celebratory gesture were thrilled about the 25-year-old referencing the superhero flick. Check Lingard’s bragging move below documented by Twitter-user, Cassandra Blockstein:
— Cassandra Blockstein (@CasieBlockstein) February 25, 2018
In additional footage from the game that has a different viewing angle, Lingard is seen repeating the gesture, this time with teammate Paul Pogba for a slightly different version of the Wakandan salute by starting with their own handshake first. The same clip also shows the crowd cheering louder after the two’s short but very cool interaction. Watch it below (courtesy of United Xtra):
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) February 25, 2018
On top of its impressive run at the box office, having already earned more than $700 million despite just being in its second week, Marvel’s latest offering has also quickly become a pop culture favorite. From its charming characters and amazing set design, the film has been the talk of the town since its release earlier this month. Wakanda, in particular, has been referred to many times as if it’s a real country existing in Africa, chanting the nation’s official tagline “Wakanda Forever” and of course, doing their version of a salute. Several days ago, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo exchanged pleasantries with Boseman before taking flight during this year’s NBA All-Star Game Slam Dunk event sporting a Black Panther mask. Hilariously, a similar-sounding village name in Illinois called Wauconda is embracing their newfound fame by celebrating the success of the Coogler-directed film.
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