Oof. That is a clunky bit of product placement. Three beverage bottles neatly arranged before Guilherme Siqueira, Atlético Madrid’s new left back. Would Siqueira wear a giant Nikon camera around his neck to showcase the club’s photography sponsor? Would he address the media from the passenger seat of a Beetle? What would happen if Durex sponsored the team? Would Siqueira speak to the press from behind a box of condoms? The advertisement wallpaper is fine, but the three evenly-spaced bottles make Siqueira look like Laura Linney plugging hot cocoa in The Truman Show.
Eduardo Galeano discusses exactly this scenario in his 1998 book, Soccer in Sun and Shadow. In the chapter “The Owners of the Ball,” Galeano explains how FIFA and a handful of global corporations control soccer:
“The machine that turns all passion into money can’t afford the luxury of promoting the most healthy or useful products for active sports fans. They simply place themselves at the service of the highest bidder . . . Coca-Cola, the nutritious elixir no athlete’s body can do without, always heads the list. Its wealth of virtues place it beyond question.”
So Siqueira sits fenced behind a neon blue sugar water, a beer and, as Galeano pointed out, a Coke. It doesn’t matter that Atlético likely discourages Siqueira from drinking any of the beverages they stick in front of his face.
Here’s Galeano again, this time describing the sterile life of a modern soccer star:
“[T]hey lock him up in a concentration camp where he does forced labor, eats tasteless food, gets drunk on water and sleeps alone.”
So is Siqueira more like Truman, a prop in a world created by corporations? Na. I doubt he sleeps alone — maybe Durex should sponsor the club.
Anyway, that picture just looks so stupid. Siqueira doesn’t drink that crap! To quote Kazzie on the song “Yeah OK” — Your Instagram is a liar, Atlético.