Paul Pogba has followed Cristiano Ronaldo’s lead by removing one of the sponsored products in front of him during a Euro 2020 press conference.
The Portugal forward made headlines ahead of his nation’s opening game on Tuesday night when he removed bottles of Coca-Cola in front of him as he prepared to speak to the media, speaking in derisory tones about the soft drink and urging viewers to drink water.
He then made headlines of a different sort, as he scored twice to help Portugal beat Hungary and break the all-time goalscoring record at European Championships in the process.
Pogba has now followed the Juventus star’s lead, moving a bottle of Heineken from the view of the cameras in his own press conference and placing it on the floor instead.
While the France midfielder didn’t comment on his actions as Ronaldo did, the move appears to be due to a belief that the drink was alcoholic, which would be against his beliefs as a Muslim.
In fact, this was a bottle of non-alcoholic beer, which Pogba perhaps wouldn’t have noted as the main label was facing away from him.
Pogba became a practicing Muslim in 2019, a move which he credits with helping him find inner peace amid criticisms he receives in the sport and changing his way of life.
Uefa are known to fiercely protect their sponsors of events and indeed have drawn criticism themselves at times for being perceived to enforce rules around corporate matters more harshly than they do instances of social injustice, both on and off the field of play.
On the pitch, France beat Germany 1-0 on Tuesday night to get their own campaign off to a positive start, with Pogba featuring heavily throughout.