Ronaldo bust steals the show at Madeira airport ceremony | Kwesé

Ronaldo bust steals the show at Madeira airport ceremony

Ronaldo bust steals the show at Madeira airport ceremony

11:45 SAST | 30 Mar 2017

The airport at Madeira has been renamed after the city’s most famous son – Cristiano Ronaldo – although a bust of the Real Madrid forward overshadowed celebrations during a lavish ceremony on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Ronaldo is a local hero in Madeira and is regarded as something of a ‘rags to riches’ story.

The former Manchester United player already has a hotel, a statue and a museum named after him in Madeira, but after leading Portugal to the country’s first major international success at Euro 2016, renaming the city’s airport seemed like a fitting tribute.

Dignitaries from far and wide, including Portugal’s president and prime minister – as well as some from another universe – were escorted to the island to attend the renaming ceremony.

The four-time world player of the year accepted that it was unusual for a public figure to be honoured like that while still alive, but admitted his pride at the tribute.

Ronaldo isn’t the first ex-footballer to be honoured in such a fashion: in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the airport was renamed George Best Belfast City Airport in 2006, following the former Manchester United player’s death the year before.

“You know how proud I am of my roots, my homeland. Thank you for being here in my honour,” said Ronaldo.

“Seeing my name being given to this airport is something very special, everyone knows that I am proud of my country and especially my home city.

“Thank you very much to the president of the regional government Miguel Albuquerque for having had the courage and the firmness to do it.

“My friend, I never asked for this, but I’m not a hypocrite, and I’m happy and honoured. I know some people do not agree and I know some people who are not here would be happy for this moment.

“I will try to dignify Portugal and especially Madeira with a spirit of sacrifice, dignity and passion.”

Unfortunately, what should have been a joyous occasion was somewhat overshadowed by the bizarre-looking bust that was unveiled above a commemorative plaque, which only bears a passing resemblance to Ronaldo.

It came as no surprise then various Twitter users wasted little time in mocking the bronze piece….What exactly Ronaldo thought of the bust remains unknown.

Don’t miss the Cristiano Ronaldo documentary on KS1 (31 March 2017 at 09:35 and 15:15 CAT)

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