Ronaldo or bust: social media give statue of footballer a black eye

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Online commenters were ruthless in enjoying a moment when the Real Madrid star looked, well, less than perfect

It was supposed to be an honour befitting of an example of excellence, the four-time footballer of the year who led Portugal to victory in last years European Championship.

Instead, the bronze bust commemorating Cristiano Ronaldos new namesake airport attracted widespread derision, being likened to Sloth from The Goonies or lauded as an Ecce Homo moment. Even former Irish footballer Niall Quinn was, perhaps rather unkindly, drawn into the debate.

This most recent honour was bestowed on Ronaldo by Portugals president and prime minister at a ceremony on Wednesday. It saw the international airport in Ronaldos homeland Madeira renamed Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo. The 32-year-old footballer already has a statue, a museum and a hotel named after him on the island.

Ronaldo tweeted that he was happy and honoured and proud to lend his name to the airport, complete with some illustrative thumbs-up, OK-sign and plane emojis. He also shared a clip of himself on his jet, celebrating his pilots reference over the intercom to Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo.

Wes Mountain (@therevmountain)

I don’t what you’re all talking about, that #RonaldoBust looks fine

March 29, 2017

But Ronaldo has thus far been silent on the online reaction to the bust in his sort of, if you turn your head and squint a bit likeness unveiled at the terminals entrance. Many social media users have suggested it does not bear much resemblance to the Real Madrid striker, sharing their observations in their masses to the hashtag #RonaldoBust.

Fahad Shahud (@fahadism)

To the makers of the sculpture – #YouHadOneJob #RonaldoBust

March 30, 2017

Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk)

Some of the all-time great Cristiano Ronaldo moments

March 29, 2017

Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick)

all the content is bad besides this

March 29, 2017

Others delighted in finding figures that the bust better resembled, including Sloth from The Goonies, Krytenfrom Red Dwarf, and the botched Ecce Homo restoration.

Tom Wright (@TomWright89)

I don’t see what the problem is with Cristiano Ronaldo’s statue…#Ronaldo #Statue #Ronaldobust

March 29, 2017

Jon Kudelka (@jonkudelka)


March 30, 2017

And even his retirement from football more than a decade ago could not save Quinn from repeated comparisons.

Zeo Fondue (@newsfondue)

Respect to Ronaldo for attending the unveiling of the new Niall Quinn statue today.

March 29, 2017

Some floated conspiracy theories based on Ronaldos football rivalries.

Fahad Shahud (@fahadism)

Wondering how happy & satisfied Messi fans would be after seeing #RonaldoBust

March 30, 2017

Nyfa (@Kotokovski)

Forget what you’ve read anywhere. This is an effigy created by a Barca fan. #ronaldobust

March 29, 2017

Others were just grateful for the fleeting moment of joy.

cameron merrill (@CameroneMerrill)

THANK YOU!!!!!! to the people involved in the @Cristiano statue. i love you more than anything ever #ronaldobust #ronaldostatue

March 30, 2017

Lindsay Emerson (@Lindol_Emerson)

Making #brexitday a little less depressing. Just a tiny little bit. #RonaldoBust

March 29, 2017

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