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Ronaldo’s odd-looking statue steals the show at airport naming

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[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t was his odd-looking statue that attracted attention at the ceremony honouring the Portugal star in his hometown Funchal, where an airport was named after him. The player’s bronze bust, which was unveiled to much fanfare by Portugal’s President and Prime Minister on the island of Madeira, hardly does the handsome footballer justice.

It squashes his eyes close together, and the cheeky raised-eyebrow smile more resembles a leer. The face is also unusually chubby, in contrast to Ronaldo’s chiselled looks.

Dozens of guests and hundreds of fans were at the unveiling of the bust in Ronaldo’s native Madeira Islands. It was part of an official ceremony to rename the local airport as Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo is able to draw the ire of football fans like few others, but perhaps it’s time to appreciate one of the game’s greats, warts and all. The Real Madrid forward also attended the ceremony, but he showed no signs of being bothered by the odd look of his newly unveiled bust aside from a light chuckle.

The bust’s sculptor, Madeira native Emanuel Santos, said it took him 15 days to create the statue. He said he presented the project to local officials when it was about half done and received the go-ahead to continue with his work.

“It’s always a great honour to work on a project like that,” Mr Santos told local television channel RTP. “I still haven’t had the chance to personally talk to [Ronaldo], but I’ll try to reach out to him to know his feedback.”

The bust received plenty of feedback from the public as people offered their critiques via Twitter.

[crp]

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