Trolls slam Pogba for moving Heineken bottle, day after Ronaldo praised for doing same with Coke

After Paul Pogba moved the bottle of Heineken, there was speculation that he may have been reluctant to endorse the product because he's Muslim


                            Trolls slam Pogba for moving Heineken bottle, day after Ronaldo praised for doing same with Coke
Paul Pogba followed in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo by becoming the latest soccer star to reject a beverage at a press conference (Photos by Justin Setterfield and Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Paul Pogba followed in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo by becoming the latest soccer star to reject a drink at a Euro 2020 press conference. The presser took place after France beat Germany in their tournament opener. Pogba shifted a bottle of Heineken beer placed in front of him.

Ronaldo made waves earlier this week before his record-breaking performance against Hungary. The Portugal captain appeared apathetic as he moved the bottles of Coca-Cola that had been placed in front of him at a press call table. He replaced them with a bottle of water, telling the cameras to "drink water" in Portuguese. 

Pogba followed suit after being named man of the match in his country's 1-0 victory over Germany. After shifting the beverage, there was speculation that Pogba may have been reluctant to endorse the product because he's Muslim. Alcohol is strictly forbidden under the Islamic faith, which Pogba adopted after converting in 2019.

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"Paul Pogba removed a bottle of Heineken [official beer partner of Euro 2020] from the table, placing it out of sight from cameras at a post-match interview at Allianz Arena. CR7 did a similar thing with Coca-Cola on Monday. [A] worrying trend for sponsors," one Twitter user noted, sharing footage of the incident.



 

Some netizens slammed Pogba (as well as Ronaldo) for "de-marketing" sponsors and "killing" the game. 

"It’s just annoying. Just answer your questions and be out of there in less than no time. You don’t even have to touch it. But this removal of sponsors' products is a little too much," one commented.

"I know he’s a Muslim and he doesn’t drink alcohol but they didn’t ask him to drink it, and btw they’re not asking him to promote it too," another wrote.

"Player power at play here. [The] same thing CR7 did. IMO, It's ridiculous!! The products of the tournament sponsors are being de-marketed by these players. UEFA must check this baseless show of power by the players!!!"



 



 



 

Others, however, rushed to Pogba's defense, explaining his Islamic faith. "Putting an alcoholic beverage in front of a Muslim is straight disrespect... You can't blame Pogba here," another added.

"He’s a Muslim. Why put beer in front of him? Sponsors must be rational," a third wrote.



 



 

Pogba didn't seem to mind two bottles of Coca-Cola and a bottle of water that were kept on either side of him as he sat down. However, he moved the Heineken -- a version of the beer containing no alcohol -- out of shot before placing it on the floor under the table.

It's a common practice for big brands to have themselves associated with the top clubs and players as millions across the globe tune in to watch. However, the high-profile shunnings could point to a problematic trend for sports sponsors. Ronaldo's move reportedly cost Coca-Cola $4 million almost immediately on the stock market.



 

Juventus forward Ronaldo has previously stated he did not like his son drinking Coca-Cola. However, Pogba is less likely to speak out against soft drinks because of his sponsorship deal with Pepsi, something he shares with Barcelona great Lionel Messi. Meanwhile, British youngster Jadon Sancho and female soccer star Shanice van de Sanden said during an advertising campaign in February that it was "great to be back again for another year with Pepsi."

This came after Pogba's eventful evening at the Euro 2020 group stages, with World Cup holders France beginning the tournament with a deserved victory over one of their strongest European rivals.

In a startling flashpoint during the match, Germany's Antonio Rudiger appeared to bite Pogba's back. The 28-year-old midfielder later said Rudiger did bite him as he played down the incident.

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