Cristiano Ronaldo Unveils Dodgy Statue As Madeira Airport Is Renamed After Him

A bust of the Real Madrid soccer star was unveiled on Wednesday during a ceremony renaming Portugal's Madeira International Airport to Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo in honor of the islands' local hero.

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world's most recognizable people.

A woman poses next to the bust of Cristiano Ronaldo at the Madeira worldwide airport outside Funchal, the capital of Madeira island, Portugal, Wednesday March 29, 2017.

However, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said the tribute was legitimate because it was decided by an elected government. He's so beloved, in fact, that he just got an global airport named after him in his native Madeira Islands in Portugal - plus a bust fashioned in his likeness. The face was also unusually chubby, in contrast to Ronaldo's chiselled looks. "Seeing my name on this airport is something very special, every one knows I am proud of my roots and my land", Ronaldo said at a ceremony held at the airport.

Ronaldo, who has 71 worldwide goals from 138 appearances for Portugal, is an avid promoter of Madeira which is said to have increased tourism to the area.

Ronaldo, Rebelo de Sousa said in his speech, is "an example of excellence" and "projects Madeira and Portugal across the world far more than anybody else". Critics said a more distinguished historical figure would be more appropriate.

Ronaldo is not the first footballer to have an airport named after him.

The Portuguese soccer superstar also used the chance to hit back at his detractors who were less than pleased about the rebranding of the airport. The news came after Portugal losing to Sweden in a friendly match on Tuesday by 2-3 despite Ronaldo scoring an early goal.

  • Julie Sanders