Italy star Manuel Locatelli joins Cristiano Ronaldo in removing Coca-Cola bottles at press conference

Italy star Manuel Locatelli joins Cristiano Ronaldo in removing Coca-Cola bottles at press conference
Italy star Manuel Locatelli joins Cristiano Ronaldo in removing Coca-Cola bottles at press conference
The midfielder even held up a bottle of water just like Ronaldo did (Pictures: UEFA / YouTube)

Italy midfielder Manuel Locatelli has become the latest player to remove Coca-Cola bottles from his press conference table at Euro 2020, even copying Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘Agua!’ shout.

The Portugal superstar looked horrified when he spotted the fizzy drinks on the table when he spoke to the media earlier this week, placing them out of sight of the cameras and holding up his own bottle of water to the camera instead.

Ronaldo’s actions caused quite a stir, with Coca-Cola’s share price falling by $4billion (£2.85bn) as the world’s most famous footballer urged his millions of fans to ditch the drink in favour of water.

Italy star Manuel Locatelli joins Cristiano Ronaldo in removing Coca-Cola bottles at press conference
Ronaldo ditched the coke and held up a bottle of water instead (Picture: BTB)

There were similar scenes on Tuesday night when France midfielder Paul Pogba gave his own post-match press conference, though this time Manchester United’s devout Muslim removed a bottle of Heineken beer from the table.

Now Locatelli has become the third player to take umbrage with Euro 2020’s sponsors, removing two bottles of Coca-Cola from their place front and centre of the table and putting his own bottle of water directly in front of him instead.

The Sassuolo midfielder put on a masterclass in Italy’s 3-0 win over Switzerland on Wednesday evening, netting twice to earn UEFA’s Star of the Match award.

Italy star Manuel Locatelli joins Cristiano Ronaldo in removing Coca-Cola bottles at press conference
Locatelli gave a superb display on Wednesday, netting twice (Picture: Getty)

When he arrived at the press conference after the game he made an immediate beeline for the bottles adorning the lectern, moving the cola out of shot and putting the water in the middle, mimicking Ronaldo’s ‘Aqua!’ remark – or ‘Acqua’ in Locatelli’s native Italian – as he spoke to the press officer.

Such has been the furore over Ronaldo’s removal of the bottles earlier this week, Coca-Cola were forced to release a statement saying ‘everyone is entitled to their drink preferences’ and that everyone has different ‘tastes and needs’.

Italy star Manuel Locatelli joins Cristiano Ronaldo in removing Coca-Cola bottles at press conference
Locatelli purposely placed his water down and then moved the cola (Picture: UEFA / YouTube)

A Euro 2020 spokesperson also added: ‘Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.’

Locatelli, meanwhile, is a man in demand – particularly after his brace against Switzerland – and has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, though he insists he is only focused on performing for Italy this summer.

Asked if it is easy to ignore the speculation around his future, Locatelli replied: ‘Yes I think when you’re involved in such an important competition such as this one you’re only focused on the task in hand.

‘We see the kids in the street when they come and watch our games as well, so it’s actually quite easy to stay focused on the match.’


MORE : Cristiano Ronaldo press conference slashed billions off Coca-Cola’s market value


MORE : Paul Pogba follows Cristiano Ronaldo’s Coca-Cola stunt by removing alcohol brand from press conference

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Author: Ewan Roberts