The trend of snubbing official sponsors is now gaining plenty of traction, with Italy and Sassuolo star Manuel Locatelli the latest player to remove Cola-Cola from his press conference before even copying Ronaldo by shouting ‘Agua!’ after helping Roberto Mancini’s men reach the knockout stages of the competition.
The midfielder scored twice in Italy’s triumphant 3-0 win over Switzerland on Wednesday evening, making the Azzurri the first nation to progress past the group stages.
Reports that the soft drinks giant had taken a £2.8billion hit to its share value during Wall Street trading on Monday were quickly pinned on Ronaldo but were unlikely to have been caused by the forward.
Days after Ronaldo’s fizzy drink snub, Paul Pogba followed the Juventus star’s lead and removed a bottle of Heineken placed in front of him at a France press conference.
Pogba, a devout Muslim, was seen moving the beer bottle from the table directly in front of him as he undertook media obligations following France’s opening victory over Germany on Tuesday night.
For Muslims, alcohol is ‘haram’ or forbidden, so the Manchester United star’s removal of the bottle is likely to be due to his unwillingness to endorse the competition’s sponsor.
It remains to be seen whether Heineken will respond to Pogba’s removal of their product from his post-match press conference. In response to Ronaldo’s move, Coca-Cola said that ‘everyone is entitled to their drink preferences’.