Europe

Bizarre Ronaldo statue overshadows airport naming event

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Media captionAmateur sculptor Emanuel Santos says he feels sad when he hears criticism of his work

Football fans have been questioning the resemblance of a statue of Cristiano Ronaldo unveiled on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

Many on social media say the work looks more like former Republic of Ireland captain Niall Quinn than Ronaldo.

The statue was revealed at a ceremony to name the island's airport after him.

Portugal's president and the prime minister flew to the island to unveil the tribute to the player outside the terminal entrance.

Image caption Some said the statue looked more like former Republic of Ireland captain Niall Quinn
Image copyright @mrdanwalker

President Rebelo de Sousa said Ronaldo "projects Madeira and Portugal across the world far more than anybody else".

The 32-year-old is a local hero in Madeira, where he is seen as a rags-to-riches success. He already has a museum about him in his hometown of Funchal.

The player later said on Twitter: "Happy and honored to have my name given to the Madeira airport!"

Ronaldo is not the first footballer to have an airport named after him. Belfast airport was named after former Manchester United player George Best in 2006, a year after he died.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The bust was unveiled at the renamed Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport.

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