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Sports

Euro 2020 tournament sponsors feel the heat after public snubs from Ronaldo, Locatelli

  • Italy's Manuel Locatelli becomes latest player to remove branded drink ahead of a news conference at Euro 2020
  • Snub follows similar moves by Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and French midfielder Paul Pogba
17 Jun 2021

Italy's Manuel Locatelli became the latest player to remove a branded drink ahead of a news conference at Euro 2020, which marks another series of major snubs for the tournament's sponsors.

Locatelli moved two Coca-Cola bottles to the side, replacing them with a bottle of water.

The Italian midfielder had scored twice on the night, in a comprehensive 3-0 win over Switzerland, which places them top of Group A with two consecutive wins.

The Sassuolo midfielder's action were preceded by similar moves by Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and French midfielder Paul Pogba.

The 36-year-old Portuguese superstar, who has built a reputation as one of the hardest workers in the game throughout his long career, shifted two bottles of Coca-Cola away from him during a pre-match press conference in Budapest for Euro 2020, before shouting "Agua!" ("drink water") to the media.

Despite his age, Ronaldo remains one of the most prolific attacking players in world football, netting twice in Portugal's 3-0 win against Hungary on Monday.

Following Ronaldo's snub, the beverage giant's shares dipped by 1.6% on Monday, wiping off nearly $4 billion from the company's market capitalisation.

Coca-Cola, one of the official sponsors of Euro 2020, replied on Tuesday stating that “everyone is entitled to their drink preferences” that suits their different “tastes and needs”.

A Euros spokesperson added that “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.”

French midfielder Paul Pogba also removed a Heineken bottle from view at another press conference.

Pogba, a practicing Muslim, moved away the beer bottle when he sat down to speak to the media for a post-match press conference on Tuesday, after he was named man of the match in France's 1-0 Group F win over Germany.

Both Coca-Cola and Heineken are official sponsors of Euro 2020.

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