Cristiano Ronaldo statue is 'dividing opinion' in India

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players to have ever played the game.

He’s certainly one of the most marketable.

Just look at the shirt sales when he signed for Manchester United this summer.

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Ahead of his debut, sales of United’s No.7 shirt hit a staggering £187 million, making it the fastest-selling shirt in Premier League history according to Lovethesales.com.

Then there are the endorsements with Ronaldo having a lifetime partnership with Nike among many other brands.

QUIZ: The ultimate Cristiano Ronaldo quiz

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Where was Cristiano Ronaldo born?

He’s also the first and currently only person to have 500 million followers over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. With 340 million followers on Instagram, he’s the most followed person on the entire platform.

What we’re trying to say is that Ronaldo is a global superstar.

However, a new statue honouring the Portuguese superstar in India has been met with criticism.

According to the BBC, Ronaldo’s statue is ‘dividing opinion’ after it was erected in the western Goa state with some even waving black flags in protest.

Cricket is the most popular sport but officials hope this new statue will inspire young people. But people believe that a local football player should have been honoured – with many past and present members of the national team from Goa. Sunil Chhetri, who is now 37, has scored 80 goals for the national side and many believed he would be a better candidate to inspire young Indian kids.

Portugal is actually a popular team in Goa, which is a former European colony. Many locals have lived in Goa or have family there.

But the installation of the statue comes during the 60th-anniversary celebrations of Goa finally gaining independence from Portugal and some think it’s insulting.

Michael Lobo, a local lawmaker in the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), tweeted a photo of himself with the statue and wrote: “For the love of football and at the request of our youth we put up Cristiano Ronaldo’s statue in the park to inspire our youngsters to take football to greater heights. It was an honour to inaugurate the beautification of open space, landscaping, garden with foundation & walkway.”

Of course, this isn’t the only Ronaldo statue that has made headlines.

Back in 2017, the Ronaldo bust at Madeira airport went viral for being, well, awful. It was eventually replaced but not before the internet had a right old laugh.

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