When Cristiano Ronaldo chose to shun Coca-Cola bottles in a press conference ahead of Portugal's Euro 2020 match against Hungary, everyone noticed.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a known health freak; it’s one of the reasons he still operates at a high level at this age. He is also highly influential, given his fame and stature. Therefore, when he chose to shun Coca-Cola bottles in a press conference ahead of Portugal’s Euro 2020 match against Hungary, everyone sat up and took notice. In a viral video, Ronaldo removes the bottles and tells people to drink water instead. Such was the impact of his actions, Coca-Cola themselves released a statement about it. And now, it turns out Ronaldo’s act led to the company’s market value to drop too.
The share price of the drinks company went from 56.10 USD to 55.22 USD after his actions. Their market value in turn dropped from 242bn USD to 238bn USD.
Coca-Cola, one of the official sponsors of Euro 2020, replied on Tuesday with a statement. In it, they said “everyone is entitled to their drink preferences” with different “tastes and needs”.
A Euros spokesperson also made clear that no one is forced to drink Coke. “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.”
Ronaldo is not only well-known worldwide, he also boasts a massive social media following. That this video went viral will not be a good look for the company.
However, it isn’t just off the pitch that Ronaldo did his talking. He scored twice during Portugal’s opening game against Hungary as the defending Euro champs ran out 3-0 winners.
In the process, he also broke a number of records for both country and in the overall tournament.
The Portuguese superstar became the first man to appear in five separate iterations of the European Championship.
Ronaldo’s maiden appearance in the Euros came in 2004, when Portugal were runners-up to Greece. Since then, he’s played the Euros in 2008, 2012, 2016 and now 2020.
However, the appearances record wasn’t the only record Ronaldo broke. He also became the top goalscorer in Euros history. The previous record was held by France’s Michel Platini with 9 goals.
Ronaldo converted a penalty to become the first player to score 10 goals in the history of the competition. He then added a second a few minutes later, taking his tally to 11.
Prior to that, the game had been largely dull and was looking likely to end in a 0-0 draw. However, left-back Raphael Guerrero opened the scoring for Portugal in the 84th minute.
That seemingly broke the home team’s spirit. To make matters worse, prior to Portugal scoring the Hungarians had the ball in the back of the net. But the goal was ruled out for offside, much to the chagrin of the fans and players alike.
The win means Portugal go into their next two matches with less pressure on their backs. And that’s a good thing because their next two matches seem them take on France and Germany.
Before the game, Cristiano Ronaldo was stopped by a security official to have his identity checked before the game. Maybe the gesture was down to the fact that Ronaldo was masked. Or maybe the guard decided to be extra thorough.
The official at the Puskas Arena in Budapest asked to see the credentials of one of the world’s most famous and identifiable sports stars as he walked toward Portugal’s dressing room.
The official carefully checked both sides of the plastic lanyard and then ushered a mask-wearing Ronaldo on his way.
Ronaldo complied and raised his eyebrows a little as he walked on.
Yet if that moment when largely unnoticed, the Hungarian crowd certainly didn’t. The first nearly-full stadium at Euro 2020 gave Hungary some loud support.
Portugal played Hungary at the 67,215-capacity in front of a full house. It is the only stadium at this year’s tournament to allow a full capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Hungarian fans bellowed out the national anthem and then broke out into loud chanting and slow-clapping in a bid to encourage their team before the game.
Hungary’s most vocal support congregated behind one of the goals. Portugal’s red-shirted and flag-waving followers filled a small section behind where their goalkeeper started the match.
Sadly it wasn’t enough to get their team over the line against a quality Portugal side.