by Seyi Lawal
£500,000 a year for a can of Pepsi? Exactly how much Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho lost in a sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola after turning up at a press conference and sipping nonchalantly from a can of Pepsi.
Ronaldinho stunned Coke chiefs at the Atlanta-based firm who immediately demanded that the plug be pulled on his huge endorsement deal, according to a report in the ‘O Estado de Sao Paulo’ newspaper.
“The fact that the player has appeared with a can of Pepsi was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Coca Cola marketing chief Marcelo Pontes told the paper. “The sponsorship had become embarrassing.”
He is talking about the fact that the 32-year-old, twice a winner of the FIFA World Player of the Year award, has struggled to shine since he left AC Milan two years ago to finish his career in his homeland.
His spell at Flamengo also came to an end last month after two unhappy seasons in which he was criticized both for poor performances on the pitch and bad behaviour off it, with reports claiming that he consistently failed to turn up to training and was more interested in throwing wild parties.
Well, this particular party is over.