Cristiano Ronaldo incorporates an global airport into his brand

Ronaldo was back in his homeland, having played an global friendly for Portugal there on Tuesday night, for the unveiling of the Madeira airport on Wednesday.

A bronze bust of Ronaldo was also unveiled at the ceremony.

Twitter was quick to point out that the statue looked nothing like the player and quickly became a source of memes online.

Some were quick to note that the bust isn't the first time Ronaldo has been depicted in bronze - nor is it the first time that such a bronze has received the wrong kind of attention.

But as so often in the 32-year old's career, things seemed to pivot around him.

'Thank you for being here in my honour.

Five thousand screaming fans, the Portuguese talisman himself and the country's prime minister and the president were all in attendance at the airport of Madeira, the island where Ronaldo was born.

Ronaldo's 71st goal for his country in the defeat saw the striker go level in third place with German Miroslav Klose in the list of Europe's all-time top global goalscorers behind Hungarian duo Sandor Kocsis and leader Ferenc Puskas.

Portugal's squad landed on Monday at the airport, displaying the trophy it won at the 2016 European Championship in France.

An worldwide soccer superstar, blessed with good looks and a golden foot, Ronaldo indisputably stands as one of the greatest to take the pitch. Critics said a more distinguished historical figure would be more appropriate and petitions were started for and against the change.

A sign with the player's image was already being added to the facade of the airport.

However, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said the tribute was legitimate because it was decided by an elected government.

Rebelo de Sousa said in his speech that Ronaldo is "an example of excellence" and "projects Madeira and Portugal across the world far more than anybody else". Belfast airport was named after former Manchester United player George Best in 2006, a year after he died.

  • Arturo Norris