Ronaldo’s act of removing a pair of Coke bottles and promoting the virtues of water at a press conference ahead of Portugal’s match against Hungary this week supposedly wiped billions from the American beverage maker’s share price.
The chiseled Portuguese football icon clearly has concerns about being pictured with a drink which has long been accused of causing obesity and rotting people’s teeth.
But don’t worry Coke execs, you still have a big fan in the form of Russia manager Cherchesov.
The 57-year-old ‘Sbornaya’ boss was happy to swig on a bottle of Coke at his pre-match press conference before Russia took on Finland in St. Petersburg this week.
Appearing alongside his coach, Russia defender Georgy Dzhikiya initially gestured to the bottles and asked Cherchesov: “Did you see what Cristiano did when he got rid of them?”
Cherchesov merely shrugged before glugging on a bottle of Coke Zero which had been placed in front of him.
The moment was shared widely online, drawing humor for the comparisons between the approach from the slightly more rotund Cherchesov – a former international goalkeeper – and Ronaldo, a man famously obsessed with treating his body as a temple.
Some joked that Cherchesov’s gesture would rapidly restore Coke’s share price – while Ronaldo would be triggered.
But Ronaldo might not always have been so right-minded about being pictured with Coke products.
Some fans were quick to drag up images of CR7 promoting the brand earlier in his career, as well as the likes of fast food company KFC. That led to accusations of hypocrisy against the 36-year-old legend.
Ronaldo became the all-time top scorer at the European Championships when he bagged a brace against Hungary in front of more than 60,000 fans in Budapest on Tuesday.
Ronaldo now has 11 goals across his appearances at five editions of the tournament, overtaking France icon Michel Platini, who struck nine goals – all of which came at Euro ’84.
Juventus ace Ronaldo also took his overall international tally to 106 – just three shy of the all-time record held by Iranian icon Ali Daei.
Portugal are next in action against three-time Euro kings Germany in Munich on Saturday. The Germans head into that game having lost their Group F opener to France 1-0 at the same venue on Tuesday.
Players shunning sponsors has become a running theme at Euro 2020. France star Paul Pogba – a devout Muslim – was seen removing a bottle of Heineken from his press conference this week, despite the bottle being non-alcoholic.
Responding to the furor over Ronaldo’s actions towards one of their major sponsors, UEFA attempted to play down the row.
“Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences,” said a Euro 2020 spokesperson, adding that everyone “is entitled to their drink preferences.”
But if Coke have lost a fan in Ronaldo, at least they’ve still got one in Cherchesov.
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