March 29, 2017 / 1:59 PM / 8 months ago

Soccer-Ronaldo Airport overshadowed by dodgy statue

FUNCHAL, March 29 (Reuters) - Madeira renamed its airport in honour of Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday - although it is a new statue of the four-times world player of the year that is likely to grab the headlines.

The Atlantic island is where Ronaldo grew up, and the airport in its capital Funchal will now be known as “Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo”.

The ceremony followed Portugal playing their first match on the island for 16 years, the hosts losing 3-2 to Sweden despite an early Ronaldo goal in the friendly on Tuesday.

Ronaldo, 32, was accompanied to the airport renaming by his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez and mother Maria, and heads were turned when a statue with a debatable likeness to the image-conscious Real Madrid forward was unveiled.

Not everyone on Madeira agrees with the decision to rename the airport after Ronaldo, but his national-hero status was confirmed last year when he led Portugal to victory in the European Championship. (Reporting by Reuters TV, Editing by Ed Osmond)

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