FUNCHAL When the island of Madeira on Wednesday renamed its airport in honor of its hometown hero Cristiano Ronaldo, all eyes were expected to be on the four-time world player of the year who is adored not only for his soccer skills but also his model looks.
But grabbing attention instead was a bronze bust of the player with a toothy grin and bulging eyes that instantly created a laugh on social media because of its debatable likeness.
"I defy you not to feel better after viewing this picture of Cristiano Ronaldo alongside his portrait bust," wrote one Twitter user, Tom Sutcliffe (@tds153).
"That hideous Ronaldo statue is going to be a meme in 5,4,3...," posted @Agave310.
Another Twitter user deemed the statue "the most gloriously awful bust" of Ronaldo.
The 32-year-old Real Madrid player's girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, and his mother, Maria, both attended the renaming ceremony of Portugal's Aeroporto da Madeira, now known as Cristiano Ronaldo Airport.
The newly revealed statue holds the distinction of being the second bust of the soccer star and occasional model that has been the subject of online ridicule.
Another statue, also in Ronaldo's hometown, was picked apart for what some saw as glaring obscurities and differences in likeness between the player and his bronzed counter-part.
"For a very handsome man, Ronaldo has had some appalling luck with statue-makers," quipped Twitter user Tom Williams(@tomwfootball), posting images of the two statues side by side.
On Tuesday, Portugal played their first match on the island in 16 years, the hosts losing 3-2 to Sweden despite an early Ronaldo goal.
(Reporting by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Ed Osmond and Leslie Adler)