Another Ron! Italy hero Locatelli follows Cristiano’s lead by SNUBBING Coca-Cola bottles at Euro 2020 (VIDEO)
Italy star Manuel Locatelli joined Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday night by snubbing Coca-Cola when moving a pair of bottles from the soft drinks giant drink out of camera shot while preparing to hold a Euro 2020 press conference.
Just like the Juventus icon, who surpassed Michel Platini as the tournament's all-time top scorer with a late brace in the defending champion's opening game against Hungary, Locatelli also scored two goals to help seal another 3-0 win for the impressive Italians over Switzerland.
READ MORE: Italy smash Switzerland to extend unbeaten run to 29 games and become first round of 16 team at Euro 2020 (VIDEO)
Now unbeaten in 29 games, the last time Italy tasted defeat was coincidentally against Ronaldo's country in 2018, and they have also kept 10 consecutive clean sheets.
Hooked by Roberto Mancini near the end so that he could receive his second standing ovation following the Turkey win on Friday, Locatelli, again like Ronaldo last time out, was deemed the official Star of the Match and was invited to conduct a post-game press conference by tournament officials.
🇮🇹 🌟 A classy display from two-goal Star of the Match Manuel Locatelli 👏👏👏@Heineken | #EUROSOTM | #EURO2020pic.twitter.com/AjDE6eeis5— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 16, 2021
Causing them further embarrassment, however, the Sassuolo linchpin mimicked CR7 by moving on a pair of Coca-Cola's product-placement bottles.
Grabbing some water, he also cried "Acqua" as the five-time Ballon d'Or winner similarly did when saying the similar Portuguese word for the liquid, "Agua".
One marked difference is that rather than sitting down first and taking a moment to decide what to do, Locatelli entered the media room with his mind made up, and moved the bottles along while still stood up.
Ronaldo's stunt is said to have cost Coke $4 billion in fallen share prices, which dropped from $56.10 to $55.22 representing a 1.6% dip as its market value stopped from $242 billion to $238 billion.
Locatelli following Ronaldo’s footsteps. Coca Cola gonna be a meme at this point 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/gK5wCKGM1v— Abduł (@Abdul999_) June 16, 2021
"Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences," commented a Euro 2020 spokesman amid development, and added that everyone "is entitled to their drink preferences".
But his example was not just followed by Locatelli, and also devout Muslim Paul Pogba who put a bottle of Heineken out of the way after also being lavished with the Star of the Match gong after Les Bleus beat Germany.
Going against the grain, however, Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov was asked what he thought of Ronaldo's snub after his country beat Finland 1-0, and responded by knocking back the sugary drink.Also on rt.com Russia boss Cherchesov becomes viral smash for swigging on Coke after Ronaldo shuns brand
Back to Locatelli, the humble 23-year-old insisted to RAI Sport: "I have to share this award with the whole team."
"I am one of the youngest here, they welcomed me so well and it’s wonderful to be here with them," he said.
Despite the PSG playmaker being a positional rival whose absence is perhaps the only reason Locatelli currently features in the Azzurri's first XI, the youngster stated how he wished Marco Verratti "can be back soon, because he is such a talented player who can make the difference".
"The coach has to make his choices, all we can do is be ready when called upon. Let’s continue like this," he demanded.
🗣"The next jersey will be black & white." @FCosatti talks about the #ITA MOTM Manuel Locatelli who is linked with a move to Juventus this summer pic.twitter.com/a9zDiBSutr— Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 17, 2021
Fancied by a string of top clubs even before the tournament, Locatelli's stock has naturally risen with his displays at the Stadio Olimpico thus far, and he was asked if it was easy to put speculation surrounding his future to one side.
"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,"