Self-taught sculptor defends grinning Cristiano Ronaldo bust | football | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Apr 29, 2017-Saturday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Self-taught sculptor defends grinning Cristiano Ronaldo bust

Santos, a 40-year-old former airport cleaner, said Cristiano Ronaldo had asked him to make the portrait more jovial, and had praised his efforts.

football Updated: Mar 30, 2017 19:24 IST
cristiano ronaldo

A woman poses next to the bust of Cristiano Ronaldo at the Madeira international airport outside Funchal, the capital of Madeira island, Portugal, on March 29, 2017. Madeira International Airport has been renamed after local football star Cristiano Ronaldo. (AP)

Self-taught sculptor Emanuel Santos defended his grinning bust of Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday, telling his thousands of online detractors he had followed the soccer star’s instructions down to the last wrinkle.

Santos, a 40-year-old former airport cleaner, said the Real Madrid striker had asked him to make the portrait more jovial, and had praised his efforts.

“It’s impossible to please the Greeks and the Trojans, and even Jesus couldn’t please everyone ... It’s a matter of taste and not as simple as it seems,” Santos told Globo Esporte.

Two women look at the screen of a phone as a youth takes a selfie next to the bust of Cristiano Ronaldo at the Madeira international airport outside Funchal, the capital of Madeira island, Portugal, Wednesday. (AP)

Officials unveiled the bronze bust at Madeira’s airport on Wednesday, triggering an onslaught of online abuse and ridicule.

Some focused on the sculpture’s toothy smile, others on its close-set, bulging eyes. All questioned the accuracy of its depiction of the Portugal captain, known for his model-like looks, who was there at the unveiling.

“Cristiano was one of the last people to arrive, but I spoke with him in the VIP room,” Santos said after the unveiling. “I asked him what he thought of the result and he said he liked it.”

Santos said Ronaldo had sent in suggestions while he was working on the sculpture.

Cristiano Ronaldo (R), Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa (C) and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa take part in a ceremony where Madeira's airport in Funchal was named after the Real Madrid star. (AFP)

“He only asked for some wrinkles that give him a certain expression to his face when he laughs to be changed,” the Madeira native added. “He said it made him look older and asked for it to be thinned out a bit to make it smoother and more jovial.”

The sculpture was unveiled to mark Madeira’s decision to name its airport “Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo” after its hometown star.

Ronaldo, who scored his 71st international goal for Portugal in their 3-2 defeat by Sweden on Tuesday, helped the national side to their first international title when they defeated France in the European Championships final last summer.

Is Your Couch Making You Cough?
Promotional Feature