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Manuel Locatelli has become the latest high-profile star to snub Coca-Cola at a press conference, following Cristiano Ronaldo ’s very public example.
The Portugal captain made headlines across the world when he moved two bottles of Coke out of his way during his pre-match media duties.
Ronaldo pushed the pair out of shot before picking up a bottle of water and claiming “Agua!”, appearing to encourage people to drink that instead.
Although trivial at the time, Ronaldo’s gesture caused quite the stir at Coca-Cola headquarters.
The fizzy drinks manufacturer is one of the primary sponsors of Euro 2020, but rather than reap the benefits of worldwide coverage, they have seen a dip in share price.
Manuel Locatelli was quick to move both bottles following Italy's 3-0 win over Switzerland
Earlier this week, the share price dropped $56.10 to $55.22 almost immediately after Ronaldo’s gesture, a 1.6% dip. The market value of Coca-Cola went from $242bn to $238bn – a drop of $4bn.
The Juventus superstar followed up his snub with a brilliant opening to his own campaign, netting twice in Portugal’s 3-0 win over Hungary.
His brace also saw him become the top-scorer in European Championships history and the first to score at five different iterations of the tournament.
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Locatelli has enjoyed a similarly brilliant beginning to this summer, starring for Italy in their opening two games, winning both 3-0.
The Sassuolo midfielder netted twice in the win over Switzerland in Rome, as he puts his case forward as one of the top midfielders in Europe.
Following the victory, Locatelli made an immediate beeline for the two bottles of Coke on the desk, moving both out of the way, before putting the water in the middle and mimicking Ronaldo’s “Acqua” claim.
Euro 2020 have been forced to respond to the incidents, with devout Muslim also moving Heineken bottles out of the way following his ‘Star of the Match’ performance in France’s win over Germany.
“Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences,” a Euro 2020 spokesperson said, before adding people have different “tastes and needs”.
Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov (right) toasted the win over Finland with a bottle of Coke
Who are the team to beat at Euro 2020 this summer? Let us know in the comments
Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov had no problem toasting their win over Finland with a drink of cola however.
The 57-year-old had several gulps as he discussed his side’s morale boosting win in St Petersburg on Wednesday.
Ronaldo is likely to address the media tomorrow (Friday) as Portugal face off against Germany on Saturday, knowing a win will seal their place in the last-16.