Cristiano Ronaldo 'happy' as Madeira Airport named in his honour

Sport loves an inaccurate statue when it comes to honouring its greatest players and football icon Cristiano Ronaldo is no different, this weird bust unveiled in his honour at Madeira airport.

Ronaldo, who grew up in Funchal, Madeira, moved to mainland Portugal to join the youth squads of Sporting Lisbon.

Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo stands next to the dubious statue.

The Real Madrid star spoke at a ceremony at the airport attended by fans and officials, including Portugal's president and prime minister. Not everyone was impressed by the bust.

The ceremony took place a day after Ronaldo and his team's friendly match against Sweden in the island's capital Funchal, where the Real Madrid footballer was born.

The 32-year-old Ronaldo is a local hero in Madeira, where he is seen as a rags- to-riches success.

Cristiano Ronaldo has had bad luck with statues created as a tribute to him, including the 10-foot bronze statue in his hometown that has a bulge in its trousers.

"Seeing my name being given to this airport is something very special, everyone knows that I am proud of my country and especially my home city", Ronaldo said.

Portugal's squad landed on Monday at the airport, displaying the trophy it won at the 2016 European Championship in France. Critics said a more distinguished historical figure would be more appropriate.

Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said the tribute was legitimate, however, because it was decided by an elected government.

De Sousa declared that Ronaldo represents Portugal and Madeira more than anyone else in the world, and trusted the player will always be a role model for everyone.

  • Julie Sanders