Paul Pogba removes Heineken beer bottle at Euro 2020 press conference

Paul Pogba has removed a bottle of Heineken placed in font of him at a Euros press conference – a day after Cristiano Ronaldo did the same with bottles of Coke.

The Frenchman, a devout Muslim, hid the sponsor’s beer bottle underneath a table as he spoke to the media after his country’s 1-0 win over Germany on Tuesday night. 

While 28-year-old Pogba offered no explanation for removing the bottle, it is likely because his religion considers alcohol ‘haram’ – or ‘forbidden’. He left a bottle of water and two bottle of Coke on the table untouched.

However, the Heineken does appear to be a 0% alcohol-free beer. 

The stunt echoes Ronaldo’s move a day earlier when he removed two bottles of Coca-Cola from a Euros press conference, telling fans to ‘drink water’ instead.

It was a gesture that grabbed headlines around the world and caused a wobble in Coke’s share price – though reports that he wiped $4billion off the company’s value appear to be false. 

Paul Pogba has become the latest star to snub a competition sponsor at the Euros this summer

The Frenchman removed a bottle of Heineken from his eyesight during a press conference

The Frenchman removed a bottle of Heineken from his eyesight during a press conference

Coke’s share price had fallen over the weekend, from around $56.10 at close on Friday night to $55.33 at open on Monday – though that was before Ronaldo spoke.

The price was languishing around $55.30 mid-morning in New York – where Coca-Cola shares are traded – as Ronaldo gave the press conference, and by the end of the day had rallied to $55.60.

As news of the stunt spread Tuesday the share price took a wobble, dipping to a low of $55.20 but by close of play had reached $55.40.

It means the share price is now higher than when Ronaldo did his press conference, though the negative publicity could have contributed to a loss of some $1billion that Coke suffered on Tuesday.

Markets in Amsterdam, where Heineken trades its stock, had closed by the time Pogba’s press conference took place on Monday night.

Trading is due to resume around 8am GMT today. Heineken has yet to issue a response to Pogba’s stance. 

Coca-Cola has responded to Ronaldo, saying in a blunt statement on Tuesday that ‘everyone is entitled to their drink preferences.’

A spokesman added: ‘Coca-Cola offers a range of drinks to suit different tastes and needs, which are available to players throughout the tournament. 

‘This includes waters, isotonic sports drinks and juices, coffee and tea, as well as Coca-Cola.

‘Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.’

Pogba grew up with a Muslim mother and says many of his friends are Muslim, but he didn’t begin practising the religion himself until 2019.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News about his newfound faith, he said: ‘It’s everything. That’s what makes me thankful for everything. 

Pogba's move comes after Cristiano Ronaldo removed bottles of coke at his press conference

Pogba’s move comes after Cristiano Ronaldo removed bottles of coke at his press conference 

Coke's share price was hovering around $55.30 in New York as Ronaldo spoke, sparking 48 hours of ups and downs that ultimately ended with it up to $55.40

Coke’s share price was hovering around $55.30 in New York as Ronaldo spoke, sparking 48 hours of ups and downs that ultimately ended with it up to $55.40


Consumption of alcohol is forbidden (or known as ‘haraam’) among Muslims. 

Muslims abstain from drinking alcohol because the Prophet Muhammad, whom Muslims believe the word of God was revealed in the Qur’an, spoke against it.

The Qur’an says that alcohol’s potential for sin was ‘far greater’ than its benefits. 

‘It made me change, realise things in life. I guess, maybe, it makes me more peaceful inside. 

‘I was questioning myself in a lot of things, then I started doing my own research. I prayed once with my friends and I felt something different. I felt really good.’ 

Pogba played a starring role in France’s win over Germany to kickstart their Euros campaign. 

He played an outstanding pass to help split open the German defence and lead to Mats Hummels’ own goal in the first half that ultimately decided the match.

Meanwhile Ronaldo is known to be obsessed by his health, with the 36-year-old Portuguese admitting it irritates him when his own son drinks fizzy drinks instead of water. 

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.

Pogba became a Muslim in 2019 and has travelled to Mecca, Islam's place of pilgrimage

Pogba became a Muslim in 2019 and has travelled to Mecca, Islam’s place of pilgrimage

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. 

Some fans have speculated that Ronaldo’s distaste for Coca-Cola might have come from an incident with former Manchester United teammate Ryan Giggs.

Footballer turned pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft tweeted in 2016: ‘CRonaldo came once to a breakfast with a coke in his hands. Giggs pushed him on the wall and said: – Don’t ever do that again!’

Fjortoft attributed the anecdote to compatriot and current Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskajer.

Giggs was asked about the alleged encounter while appearing on the Official Manchester United Podcast in May 2020,

‘Maybe. I don’t know if I pinned him,’ he said.

‘I might have told him, ‘We don’t do this’ and then he went and scored a hat-trick! ‘I drink what I want, Giggsy!’

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.

‘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