Sombreros de charro were highly present during the 2018 World Cup. If you looked in the stands or even in random crowd photos, you’d likely come across a sombrero or two. As Mexican fans left Russia, they even began trading in the mariachi toppers for artisanal Russian trinkets. So with its prominence, it only made sense that a sombrero would also make its way to the French team.
In the moment of euphoria, French players celebrated in several ways, including by taking turns wearing a sombrero de charro. In an Instagram story, midfielder Paul Pogba donned the ample hat as he spoke Spanish to his fans.
The moment was possible because of one Mexican fan. Juan Pablo Abraham and his sister headed to the World Cup with two sombreros de charro. The two, who live in Merida, made a stop in Mexico City, where they bought the blue and red hats, before arriving in Russia. They ended up giving away the red one to another fan during the semifinal between France and Belgium, but they had bigger plans for the blue sombrero.
At the end of a rousing final between France and Croatia, the siblings got as close as possible to the field. There, they tried to get the attention of the French players. Eventually, Benjamin Mendy heard them and took the sombrero and mariachi doll that had accompanied them throughout their trip.
In exchange, Mendy graciously gave them a jersey. “I yelled ‘Manchester City’ at him and he turned around,” Juan Pablo told Adrenalina. “He approached us, and he gave us the sombrero. He gave me his jersey with the two World Cup championship stars, and he even apologized because it didn’t have a number.”
He documented the exciting moments in a series of photos on Twitter, where he thanked Mendy for stopping to talk to him.
— Juan Pablo Abraham (@abraham_juanp) July 15, 2018
Mendy responded with a little voseo in return.
Ahaha gracias a vos !!! pic.twitter.com/Rz0mPxdx25
— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) July 15, 2018
Here’s the amazing moment captured on video: