How one gesture by Ronaldo cost Coca Cola US$4 billion

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrating a goal during a Spanish League match against RCD Espanyol at the Power8 stadium on Maig 17 2015 in Barcelona Spain.

Football star Cristiano Ronaldo’s snub to carbonated drink Coca Cola has taken a toll on the company’s brand value, with almost 2% loss in market capitalisation.

The incident took place at Euro 2020 press conference, where Mr Ronaldo put away two bottles of Coca-Cola kept in front of him and picked up a bottle water, shouting ‘Agua!’ in Portuguese.

He was speaking to the reporters ahead of Portugal’s Group F opener against Hungary.

The action by CR7, considered as one of the greatest all-time footballers, hit the shares of Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO), the company that makes the carbonated drink, as stock prices dropped 1.6% in New York. The market capitalisation of the company, that denotes the valuation of the company in open market, reportedly tanked from US$242 billion to US$238 billion, which is a loss of US$4 billion.

Soft drinks including Coca Cola have long been criticised for having adverse impact on the health of people. The consumption of sweetened carbonated drinks can be linked to obesity, kidney damage, increase in the blood pressure and certain types of cancers.

To put things in perspective, a single can of soft drink has 37 grams of added sugar, which equates to almost 10 teaspoons (tsp). Compare it with the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard – that recommends not more than six teaspoons of sugar each day. To put it simply, by consuming a can of Coca Cola, you would be overshooting your daily requirement of sugar by over six times.

Almost 184,000 global deaths every year are caused due to the consumption of sugary drinks, according to a 2015 study.

After the presser, Mr Ronaldo scored two goals against Hungary as he moved beyond France’s Michel Platini as the record goal-scorer in the history of the European Championships. He has also taken his tally of goals scored at Puskas Arena to 11.