Lonely Planet Writer

Why people can’t stop laughing at this Cristiano Ronaldo statue in Madeira

There can be few bigger honours than having the airport in your home town named after you; so no doubt Cristiano Ronaldo is delighted that Madeira Airport in Funchal is taking his name. We’re not sure if he’ll be quite so happy with the bronze head that has been erected to mark the occasion, though.

The Cristiano Ronaldo statue that has been making headlines.
The Cristiano Ronaldo statue that has been making headlines. Image by Armando Franca/AP

It was unveiled in a ceremony at the island airport – now named Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo – as the Real Madrid man himself looked on. Portugal’s president and the prime minister also flew to the island for the ceremony, but not everyone thought the likeness of the statue was entirely flattering. In fact, the head has been likened to a character from a children’s art show, Art Attack.

Memes immediately spread like wildfire on social media with plenty of people trying their hand at Photoshop to try and make the likeness a bit better.

Unfortunately for him, Ronaldo has not had the best luck when it comes to have statues made in his honour, as this other Madeira statue shows.

The ceremony at Madeira’s airport was attended by hundreds of fans, where the 32-year-old is a local hero and already has a statue, as seen above, museum and hotel named after him.  Some didn’t agree with the name change of the airport and Ronaldo acknowledged their protests saying it is rare for public figures to be acknowledged while still alive. “You know how proud I am of my roots, my homeland”, the Real Madrid forward said.

Ronaldo addresses the crowd at Madeira airport.
Ronaldo addresses the crowd at Madeira airport. Image by Armando Franca/AP

Portugal’s loss in a friendly to Sweden on Tuesday night saw the four-time world player of the year make a record 138th appearance for his country and score his 71st goal, putting him in the top 10 scorers of international history.

With the forward helping to deliver a surprise European Championships trophy last year for the country, it’s not hard to understand why Portugal want to celebrate their national superstar.  The statue has been making headlines all around the world so it has at least got him some more attention.


Is Prime Minister Antonio Costa laughing at it?
Is Prime Minister Antonio Costa laughing at it? Image by Armando Franca/AP

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