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England manager Gareth Southgate has given a detailed explanation of why he is definitely not following Cristiano Ronaldo's lead by removing Coca-Cola bottles from his press conference.
Ronaldo made headlines when he removed two bottles of Coke from in front of him before talking to the media ahead of Euro 2020, brandishing a bottle of water and telling fans to drink that instead.
Pretty sure Santos was about to drink the coke as he thought Ronaldo would do so
- Los blancos (@notoriousw7) June 15, 2021
While some praised the world's most heavily endorsed athlete for promoting healthy hydration, Southgate took an opposing view when asked about the controversy, as he sat firmly behind his two bottles of Coke like they were a pair of right-backs.
The England gaffer told the press that the money that sponsors invest can help sport at a grassroots level and that anything "in moderation" is not a problem.
"Well, I think there are lots of sponsors in sport and the impact of their money at all levels helps sport to function," said Southgate.
:speaking_head:" There's always a bigger picture to these things"
Gareth Southgate responds to why he chose not to remove the Coca Cola bottles from the table #Euro2020 pic.twitter.com/3JSsk6wqu1
- Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 17, 2021
"Particularly grassroots sport in our country requires a lot of investment and without some of those companies investing then [it is] very difficult to provide the facilities that we need.
"And I think with anything, of course we're mindful of, in our country, obesity and health. But everything can be done in moderation and I think anything that you take part in or partake in in moderation is rarely a problem."
In our minds, Southgate at this point opened his top shirt button and cracked open a Diet Coke to wow the lovestruck masses, before adding: "I understand the concerns that people have and obviously the two guys had different rationale for the two stances they took, but there's always a bigger picture to these things, I think."
The "two guys" Southgate refers to include Paul Pogba. The France ace, a practising Muslim, removed Heineken bottles at a post-match press conference.
England captain Harry Kane, sitting alongside Southgate, backed his manager's stance by saying: "From my point of view I totally agree. I think obviously the sponsors are entitled to have what they want if they pay the money to do so."
The move has become a running joke among players at the tournament, with Italy's Manuel Locatelli also swapping his Coke bottles for water (although UEFA have since warned they will dish out fines to any players removing sponsors' products).
No problem as far as Ukraine winger Andriy Yarmolenko goes. After scoring in his side's 2-1 win over North Macedonia, the West Ham player made a come-and-get-me plea for personal sponsorship.
"Coca-Cola and Heineken... please contact me!"
Andriy Yarmolenko saw what Cristiano Ronaldo did and reversed it :joy::arrows_counterclockwise: pic.twitter.com/koH8o8TCx9
- Hayters TV (@HaytersTV) June 17, 2021
"Can I do something? I've seen Ronaldo putting away Coca-Cola bottles recently," said Yarmolenko as he pushed the drinks forward.
"I'll put Coca-Cola here, I'll put Heineken right here - up front! Guys, contact me."
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