Lisbon: The controversial bronze bust of Cristiano Ronaldo at the airport in Madeira which bears the Real Madrid superstar's name has been replaced, Portuguese media reported on Monday.
"This bust is much better than the other one, that's what everyone thinks," Hugo Aveiro, brother of the five-time Ballon d'or, winner, told the Diario de Noticias da Madeira newspaper. "A Spanish sculptor offered this new bust, it was so good that we decided to change it," he added.
The original was swapped on Friday at the request of the Portuguese captain's entourage, according to local media. The original, by local artist Emanuel Santos, was unveiled 16 months ago at a ceremony to rename the airport after one of Madeira's most famous sons, with Ronaldo having been born in the capital Funchal.
But it was widely mocked, not least for its grimacing smile. "The CR7 museum asked us to replace the bust in tribute to the athlete and we felt we ought to change it," airport director Duarte Ferreira explained. The Ronaldo-themed museum opened in 2013 and a year later it unveiled a 3.40 metre tall statue which also caused a stir owing to its figure-hugging shorts.
While his home island concentrates on his likenesses, the real Ronaldo is busy at the World Cup, notching a hat trick to earn a point against Spain just a few hours after the airport bust was exchanged.
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Updated Date: Jun 18, 2018 20:23:31 IST