Cristiano Ronaldo unveils 'horrifying' bronze bust of himself as Madeira airport is renamed in his honour

Sean Gibson
Seeing double? No? Ronaldo's new likeness could be a lot more like him - AFP or licensors

Cristiano Ronaldo has helped unveil a new statue in his own honour, as the Aeroporto da Madeira was renamed after the island's most famous son.

What should have been a joyous celebration of a glittering career, though, has been sidetracked by criticism of the Portuguese star's bronze likeness.

Questions have been asked as to whether the face actually resembles Ronaldo's in any way, with other assessments of the sculptor's handiwork ranging from "questionable" to "horrifying". 

The Real Madrid forward put on a brave face at the ceremony in Funchal, Madeira on Wednesday, though a man who prides himself so much on his winsome complexion cannot be best pleased with this particular artist's impression of him.

Ronaldo's fans and admirers didn't seem to mind too much as they posed for pictures after the official unveiling.

Ronaldo looked in good spirits at the unveiling, despite his fiendish likeness Credit: RAFAEL MARCHANTE/REUTERS
Fans were smiling as widely as the statue when posing for pictures

Many have pointed out that this is not the first dedication to the four-time Ballon d'Or winner that has gone awry. Outside his own museum in Funchal, there is an equally ropy full-body effort.

There was also the silver tribute in Madrid that has been accused of depicting Ronaldo as overweight.

Ronaldo is seen as a hero on the islands of Madeira, after moving on from his humble beginnings there to become one of the greatest footballers of modern times. As well as his museum and now his airport, Ronaldo has a hotel named for him as well.

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The new Cristiano Ronaldo Airport, with his logo and profile visible bottom-right Credit: FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty

After Portugal won Euro 2016 last summer, with Ronaldo captaining the side to their first-ever tournament triumph, the Madeira regional government mandated the airport's name-change – though critics argued that a more distinguished historical figure would have been more appropriate.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, president of Portugal, insisted the tribute to Ronaldo was legitimate, as he was "an example of excellence [that] projects Madeira and Portugal across the world far more than anybody else".

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