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Ronaldo’s Coca-Cola snub costs company $4bn

Cristiano Ronaldo’s gesture for people to drink water instead of Coca-Cola at a Euro 2020 press conference on Tuesday have cost the soda company $4 billion in market value.

Coca-Cola shares dropped from $56.17 to $55.22 after Ronaldo moved two Coke bottles out of view and picked up a bottle of water before Portugal’s match against Hungary on Tuesday.

Market value for the company dropped from $242 billion to $238 billion – a $4 billion plunge.

“Agua!” the soccer superstar exclaimed. Agua means water in Portuguese.

Coca-Cola is one of the sponsors for the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament and a statement from the company reviewed by the Guardian said, “everyone is entitled to their drink preferences.”

The Portugal captain moved the cola bottles as he sat down to speak to the media at Monday’s Euro 2020 press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Group F opener against Hungary.

Ronaldo, an advocate of a healthy diet, moved the glass bottles out of the camera frame and instead held up a bottle of water and said in Portuguese: “Water!”

A Euro 2020 spokesperson reportedly said, “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conference.”

Coca-Cola shares were up to $55.41 when the stock market closed on Tuesday.

They added that without the support of brands like Coca-Cola, “we could not organise a tournament with such success for players and fans, nor invest in the future of football at all levels.”

Coca-Cola’s partnership with UEFA goes back to 1988 with the company having “a long tradition of supporting all sports at its various levels” and which has allowed “investment in football at all levels.”

On Tuesday, France midfielder Paul Pogba removed a bottle of Heineken beer that had been placed in front of him at a news conference following the 1-0 win over Germany in Munich.

Pogba, a practising Muslim who does not drink alcohol, removed the bottle when he sat down to speak to the media after he was named man of the match.

On Tuesday, Ronaldo, 36, became the leading scorer in European Championship history with 11 goals. The Juventus forward struck twice in Portugal’s 3-0 win over Hungary in what was his record fifth tournament appearance.

The defending champions had to wait until the 84th minute to break the deadlock. Ronaldo later shared a message with his almost 300 million Instagram followers about resilience.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner wrote: “You have to know how to suffer, fight to the end and always believe with all your strength. There are no easy opponents or games won straight away.

“The European Championship is a luxury stage where only the best of the best are present and where every victory has to be won with all the determination and selflessness. Big win, team!”

“Everyone is entitled to their drink preferences,” said Coca-Cola in a short statement, adding that each individual has different “tastes and needs”.

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