Pogba was giving the press conference in his capacity as man of the match against Germany
Paul Pogba has joined Cristiano Ronaldo in removing a drinks bottle from one of the European Championship’s biggest sponsors during a press conference.
A day after Ronaldo’s public show of disdain for Coca-Cola, Pogba took exception to a bottle of Heineken being placed in front of him after being named man of the match in France’s 1-0 win against Germany.
paul pogba hates heineken
Don't give Paul Pogba Heineken pic.twitter.com/4inexnnO3J
— Vini Johny28 (@ViniJohny28) June 15, 2021
The beer was Heineken’s alcohol-free 0.0 brand – which the tournament is being used to promote – and it is unclear whether Pogba, who is Muslim, knew that to be the case.
It nevertheless raised questions over whether it was appropriate for a bottle of beer, alcohol-free or otherwise, to have been placed in front of a Muslim player.
It was also a further example of the influence wielded by the world’s most famous footballers after Ronaldo removed two bottles of Coca-Cola during a press conference before declaring: “Drink water.”
Footage of the incident went viral on Tuesday, coinciding with $4 billion (£2.8bn) being wiped off the value of the soft drinks giant.
Ronaldo was hailed by anti-obesity campaigners, with Caroline Cerny, Alliance Lead at Obesity Health Alliance telling Telegraph Sport: “Junk food brands pay millions to sponsor high profile sporting events like the Euros, to keep their unhealthy products in the spotlight and to create a ‘halo effect’ by associating them with sport.
“It’s great to see a role model like Cristiano Ronaldo reject Coca Cola for water, setting a positive example for young fans and showing his disdain for a cynical marketing attempt to link him with a sugary drink.”
Ronaldo is renowned for his commitment to a strict regime of diet and exercise, which has arguably allowed him to remain one of the world’s best players well into his mid-30s.
His snubbing of Coca-Cola was also endorsed by Tom Brady, the record-breaking Superbowl-winning quarterback.
It’s almost like the veterans know what they’re doing…. @Cristiano @TB12sports https://t.co/pJ0y1BtCRt
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) June 14, 2021
Ronaldo’s views on Coca-Cola were laid bare last year when he said of his son, Cristiano jnr: “He drinks Coca-Cola and eats French fries. He knows I don’t like it, but he still does it.”
Earlier in his career, Ronaldo appeared in commercials both for Coca-Cola and its arch-rival Pepsi.
In response to Ronaldo’s snub, Coca-Cola issued a statement saying “everyone is entitled to their drink preferences” and that everyone has different “tastes and needs”.
A tournament spokesman said: “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.”