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Ronaldo’s gesture

Not just in Pakistan, people all over the world follow their favorite celebrities whether they are actors, models or sportsmen. Many die-hard fans even go a step ahead emulating them and even perform acts inspired by the lifestyle celebrities.

Football and cricket are arguably the most famous sports in the world. Their players are so less than movie stars. They are one of the most famous and recognizable faces on the planet. They have some of the highest earnings in the world. But the real reason for their success is their fitness. A player need to remains fit so that he can perform and earn laurels for this club and country or else he will be simply discarded.

Portugal’s footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is the most famous player in the world today. He is no less than a celebrity and a football icon. He has a long list of football achievements having won five Ballon d’Or awards. He has won 32 major trophies in his career including seven league titles and five UEFA Championships. He has over 1,000 match appearances and is the first European player to score 100 international goals, making him the most marketable player in the world.

Ronaldo has also been declared the fittest player in the world. He spends 5 to 6 hours exercising to maintain his physique. He eats six meals a day consisting of a healthy and balanced diet and stays away from harmful substances. He once said that he gets irritated when his child asks for a soft drink. This is because soft drinks are harmful for human health and we should consume more water.

During a press conference before Portugal’s opening match in the Euro Cup, Ronaldo made a small gesture which garnered immense media coverage around the world.

He simply picked two Coca-Cola bottles on display and removed them from his table and asked to drink water instead. This may seem like a trivial matter but being done by a famous celebrity made it rather significant. Coca-Cola is the official sponsor of the Euro Cup.

Why does this matter and why this small gesture was given such importance? We are well aware of the harmful effects of soft drinks. These sugary drinks are the biggest reason for obesity and heart disease in the world. Yet billions are consumed every single day while global corporations like Coca-Cola are one of the most influential in the world. But this simple gesture by a global celebrity has delivered an important message to the world.

Pakistan also has produced some big names in cricket, hockey, squash and other sports who raised the nation’s flag all over the world. Cricket is the most popular sport in Pakistan especially among youth. But you do know a soft drink beverage company is our team’s biggest sponsor. Pepsi has been sponsoring our team since the 90s and continue to target our youth.

It is a pity that a sport is being promoted by a product that is harmful for our health. We have never seen any famous Pakistani player stand a stand and oppose any product that is harmful to human health. There was even a long gone era when cricket also used to advertise cigarette brands before better sense prevailed.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s gesture is being interpreted as anti-Israel whereas it is not even a political move. Soft drinks are harmful for human health even if it they are made in a Muslim country. There is a need to raise awareness about their harmful authorities. We should also think if we should advertise products good for human health and oppose those that harm us. Perhaps we should take Ronaldo’s advice and drink more water.