Coca-Cola has insisted that ‘everyone is entitled to their drink preferences’ after Cristiano Ronaldo removed two of their sodas from a Euros press conference.
The health-obsessed 36-year-old took offense after the fizzy drinks were placed in front of his seat before an interview yesterday – so he moved them out of shot and told fans to ‘drink water’ instead.
Now, the multi-billion dollar drinks firm – which sponsors the tournament – has responded, acknowledging in blunt fashion that everyone has ‘tastes and needs.’
‘Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences,’ a spokesman added.
Cristiano Ronaldo moved away the Coco-Cola bottles at the start of his press conference
Ronaldo made the gesture at a press conference ahead ahead of Portugal’s first game of the Euros, which takes place against Hungary tonight at 5pm (GMT).
The Portuguese star, one of the greatest footballers to have ever played the game, is notoriously fastidious about his diet and exercise regime.
His laser focus on fitness and well-being has has allowed him to continue playing at an elite level well into his 30s, when many players retire.
He has previously revealed that his diet consists of six mini-meals spread throughout the day, featuring plenty of fruit, vegetables, and clean protein such as fish or chicken cooked without oil.
His favourite dish is a Portuguese classic called Bacalhau à Brás that consists of layers of cod, onions, thinly sliced potatoes and black olives on top of eggs.
Mostly, the sportsman drinks water – though revealed that he enjoys the occasional glass of juice with breakfast and wine with dinner.
In terms of training, Ronaldo is thought to work out for three to four hours at a time, five days a week, and swears by a mixture of cardio, weights and football drills to keep himself in top physical condition.
Eight hours of sleep per night to help keep up his ‘mental strength’ rounds out the routine of one of the fittest men on the planet.
Following the press conference, a 2006 advert that appears to show Ronaldo promoting Coca Cola has resurfaced online.
The Asian commercial, which appears to have been part of the soft drink brand’s marketing for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, shows a woman opening a fridge to find Coca Cola cans featuring animated likenesses of Ronaldo, which pass the ball to each other.
Social media users mocked the apparent change of heart in the comments section on YouTube.
‘I thought he wants us to drink water?’ one wrote.
‘Ronaldo now = drink water save health,’ another posted, alongside an emoji crying with laughter.
‘How hypocrite[sic] can you be,’ a third commented.
Others jumped to defend the player, writing sarcastically: ‘Someone obviously can’t change their mind on a drink in 15 years, that’s far too little time!’
It is not clear how much Ronaldo was paid to appear in the advert, but in 2009, The Guardian reported he made £12million from product endorsements, including for Fuji Xerox copiers and an Indonesian energy drink called Extra Joss.
Speaking last year, Ronaldo revealed his frustration that his young son doesn’t necessarily possess the same obsession with his fitness that he does.
‘We’ll see if my son will become a great footballer,’ Ronaldo said at the Global Soccer Awards ceremony.
‘Sometimes he drinks coke and eats crisps and it irritates me, he knows that.
Wednesday 16 June
The Portuguese captain is always notoriously obsessive about his diet and fitness regime
‘Sometimes I tell my son to take a dip in cold water to recover after a run on the treadmill and he says, ‘Dad, it’s so cold there’. That’s fine, he is only 10 years old.’
Fans can expect Ronaldo to be in peak condition when Portugal get their Euro 2020 campaign underway on Tuesday against Hungary.
It is vital they get off to a strong start despite having to cope with the Budapest crowd, with matches to come against France and Germany in Group F.
The Portuguese captain will become the first player to appear in five European Championships should he lead his country out as expected, and Ronaldo spoke of what he sees as the key to achieving such longevity.
‘The most intelligent thing about a footballer is the ability to adjust,’ Ronaldo said. I am more mature now.
‘If a player wants to play for many years he needs to know how to adjust and adapt and the numbers speak for themselves. From 18 to 36 I have managed to adjust and adapt.
‘I have always been able to win and on a collective level part of a team that has been able to win. I have shown that the key is to adjust all along my career.’