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Coca-Cola and Football: From Ronaldo’s rejection to Messi’s addiction - Pros and Cons of fizzy drinks for footballers

07:24 GMT+3 27/04/2022
Coca-Cola
The brand Coca-Cola shares an old relationship with football…

The Coca-Cola company is one of the world’s largest multinational beverage corporations which has a long history of association with football. The company is an official partner of the FIFA World Cup, various leagues in England including the Premier League and also sponsors several UEFA competitions like the European Championship.

There was a lot of buzz around the brand Coca-Cola during the Euro 2020 due to an incident involving Portugal captain and superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Ronaldo removing the bottles of Coca-Cola placed in front of him during a press conference is still fresh in the minds of fans.

What was the incident involving Cristiano Ronaldo and Coca-Cola?

It so happened that in a pre-match press conference during Euro 2020, Cristiano Ronaldo removed two Coca-Cola bottles from the table in front of him before holding up a bottle of water to the room. He declared that people should drink water instead. 

He said the word ‘Agua’ which means water in Portuguese and shunned the two "Coca-Cola" bottles in a cynical manner. The brand was an official sponsor of the tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo the ‘health freak’

Everybody is aware of the Manchester United star’s healthy lifestyle and he is an inspiration for people and other sportsperson across the world. 

The Manchester United star is renowned for being one of the most athletic players in football history and there is no player in world football that has drawn more plaudits for his physical qualities and dedication to his craft than Ronaldo. 

The star player boasts an extraordinary set of athletic skills, combining rapid pace and agility with elite aerial ability and power. Ronaldo was not the same at the start of his career when he arrived at Old Trafford in 2003 but with dedication, discipline and extreme hard work - which includes rigorous training, following a strict diet regime both during and off the season - the Portuguese achieved prime physical fitness. 

How did other brands react to the Ronaldo-Coca-Cola incident?

Several mineral water brands across Europe took the opportunity to promote their respective brands, sharing the video of Ronaldo and advising their customers to choose water over soft drinks.

Even World Health Organisation (WHO) jumped on the wagon and backed Ronaldo for choosing water as the main source of hydration. 

Are fizzy drinks good for professional athletes?

While Cristiano Ronaldo clearly does not like fizzy drinks, there are several footballers who absolutely loves carbonated drinks. In fact, Ronaldo’s on-field rival Lionel Messi was addicted to soft drinks during his teenage years at Barcelona.

It took current Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola to make a stop to Messi’s habit through some strict measures during his time at La Masia. Vending machines of the carbonated drink was removed from the training arena so as to protect the academy’s prized possession.

Even during the Euro 2020, players like Granit Xhaka, Andriy Yarmolenko and Leonardo Bonucci were seen celebrating with a bottle of Coca-Cola after their matches.

Not just football players, several other sportpersons also love carbonated drinks, especially Coca-Cola. This is primarily due to the caffeine which makes the drink irresistible. While it’s high sugar content and calories can be harmful, drinking in smaller quantities does not significantly affect the performance of athletes. 

How much does Coca-Cola cost in Australia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and India?

Australia: 3.75 AUD (2 litres)

Philippines: ₱ 30.83 (1.5 litres)

Singapore: S$ 1.325 (250ml)

Malaysia: 2.200 MYR (500ml)

Cambodia: 6,195 Riels (2 litres)

India: INR 90 (2 litres)