Italian footballer Manuel Locatelli is the latest footballer to snub Coca-Cola in a press conference.

It’s been quite an intriguing journey for Coca-Cola, one of the sponsors of Euro 2020 tournament. After being snubbed by Cristiano Ronaldo at a press conference ahead of Portugal vs Hungary match, the soft drink company was subjected to a similar rejection by Italy’s midfielder.

Locatelli arrived at the post-match news conference after producing a Man-of-the-Match performance against Switzerland in Italy’s 3-0 win. On spotting the two Coca-Cola bottles placed in front of him, the midfielder decided to remove them from the sight. Locatelli also chuckled a little as he took the bottles out of focus, aware of the stir such an act had created when Ronaldo had done the same a couple of days ago.


The Italian midfielder, who scored two goals for Italy in the team’s second group-stage match, then picked up a water bottle and put it right in the middle, echoing Ronaldo’s sentiments that one should be drinking water over aerated drinks, but in a subtle manner.

Earlier, Ronaldo’s Coca-Cola snub had hurt the beverage maker’s brand value quite significantly. It was reported that soon after the Portuguese footballer’s act, Coca-Cola’s stock prices crashed and the brand ended up losing a whopping USD 4 billion from its market value. As Ronaldo urged the world to adopt a healthier lifestyle, the move had huge repercussions.

Ronaldo and Locatelli aren’t the only ones to snub an official sponsor of the European championships. France midfielder Paul Pogba displayed a similar approach as he picked up a Heineken beer bottle and placed it behind the news conference table.

After Ronaldo’s gesture, Coca-Cola was forced to release a statement saying: ‘Everyone is entitled to their drink preferences’ and that people have their ‘tastes and needs’.

Even a Euro 2020 spokesperson addressed the chatter around the topic saying: “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.”

Meanwhile, UEFA warned that the teams could be fined if they move drinks at Euro 2020 news conferences.