Northern Ireland

George Best statue mocked by fans

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Media captionMaradona good, Pelé better, George Best - Bronze tribute to NI legend

He's up there with Diego Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Salah - in more ways than one.

A new statue of George Best - the Northern Ireland and Manchester United football great - has provoked strong reactions from fans and critics alike.

The main complaint is that the sculpture, unveiled on what would have been his 73rd birthday, does not bear any resemblance to the Belfast boy.

The often cruel social media sphere has not held back.

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Image caption Some people don't see the similarities between Best and his recreation in bronze

One popular response was that rather than looking like Best, the statue at Windsor Park in Belfast looks more like his former Northern Ireland teammate Pat Jennings, who unveiled it.

Other posters on social media offered their submissions as to who it resembled.

A few suggested BBC Sport NI's much-loved football commentator Jackie Fullerton (must be the hair) while others saw former England striker Kevin Keegan.

There was also a suggestion that it wasn't unlike the clay bust modelled of Lionel Richie in the video for his song Hello.

That wasn't the only comment on a musical theme...

And one more thing - one wit thought the statue looked like everyone's favourite TV detective, Columbo.

Whoever you think it looks like, the feeling of many fans has been something like this...

The statue was created by Belfast artist Tony Currie.

But it is not the first time a sculpture depicting a football player has raised eyebrows, with recent efforts at recreating the stars of the game in bronze being panned by fans.

Who could forget the crooked smile of Ronaldo immortalised in bronze at Madeira Airport in Portugal?

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Media captionInternet reacts to bizarre statue of Cristiano Ronaldo

Emanuel Santos's original bust sparked a wave of memes questioning its resemblance to the player after it was placed on display.

He did get a second chance, which turned out much better, but his original was replaced by one by another sculptor.

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Image caption Was Andy Murray happy with this statue or not?

It was hard to know exactly how Andy Murray felt about the statue of him dressed as a Chinese warrior ahead of the Shanghai Masters in 2011.

The famously inscrutable Scot stood stoically beside the statue for a picture.

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Image caption In spite of the added bulk around the neck and face, Maradona was satisfied with this statue

A wild-haired statue (a common theme here) of Argentina's World Cup-winning legend Maradona was unveiled in India 2017.

Its likeness raised eyebrows but the man himself was happy with it.

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Media captionWhat do the people of Liverpool think of the new statue of football star Mohamed Salah?

Mo Salah didn't fare much better last year, when this curious effort of the Liverpool star went on display in Sharm El-Sheikh in his home country.

It depicts the Egyptian with his arms out wide in the goal scoring celebration he is known for.

But some suggested it looks more like singer Leo Sayer or Marv the burglar from the film Home Alone.

Not all sculptures are subjected to a public mauling, though.

If you are ever in Coleraine in County Londonderry, take a look at the bronze Bertie Peacock in the town centre.

More than 10 years old, it's a perfect likeness of the ex-Celtic and Northern Ireland player.

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