On Wednesday, the 29th of March, superstar footballer Cristiano Ronaldo had the ultimate cause to celebrate, as the airport in his native Madeira Island in Portugal was renamed in his honor. As part of the ceremony, the 32-year-old unveiled a statue of himself outside the terminal entrance. The only problem? It doesn’t quite look like him.
The Real Madrid striker comes from Funchal, a town located on the island. The airport who will now bear the name Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport is located only 13.2 km (8.2 mi) east from the footballer’s hometown. The reactions to the statue have ranged from bewilderment to ridicule, with the general consensus being that it does not resemble the current European Championship and Champions League winner very much.
“Happy and honored to have my name given to the Madeira airport,” the player wrote on Twitter
The country’s President and Prime Minister both flew in to attend the ceremony
Prime Minister António Costa said Ronaldo “projects Madeira and Portugal across the world far more than anybody else”
The Madeira Airport is the first one to be named after a footballer after the smaller of the two in Belfast was renamed George Best Belfast City Airport in 2006, in honor of Northern Ireland’s greatest ever player
Emanuel Santos, the author of the Cristiano Ronaldo bust, defended his work saying whether someone likes it is ‘a matter of taste’
“It is impossible to please the Greeks and Trojans. Neither did Jesus please everyone,” the artist quipped
For the social media Greeks and Trojans’ best reactions to the controversial statue, keep scrolling!