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When Football Statues Go Wrong

January 5, 2018

From Cristiano Ronaldo to Michael Essien: The Evolution of Hilariously Awkward Football Statues.

Football mixes with almost everything, but one in particular stands out for it’s amazing reflection of the beautiful game; art.

From the magnificent ‘United trinity’ sculpture in front of Old Trafford, to Uwe Seeler’s giant foot cast embraced by the warmth of the Volksparkstadion, and the captivating Graffiti of Zidane and co in the streets of Kolkata; football and art have mixed pretty well over the years

However, for all the wild romance between art and soccer, the recent surge in the number of awkward sculptures and bronze casts has left us wondering whether it’s high time art and football took a long break from each other

From Cristiano Ronaldo, to Michael Essien, here’s a timeline of awkward football sculptures from 2017 till date

I -Cristiano Ronaldo, Madeira Airport

The first of two awkward Ronaldo sculptures was unveiled in March 2017 when the Madeira Airport was renamed after the Real Madrid ace.

Regardless of Social Media outrage and disapproval, the artist, a certain Santos defended his work in an interview with

“It is impossible to please the Greeks and Trojans. Neither did Jesus please everyone.

“He said it made him look older and asked for it to be thinned out a bit to make it smoother and more jovial. But they [Ronaldo and his brother] gave it the go-ahead.”

“This is a matter of taste, so it is not as simple as it seems. What matters is the impact that this work generated.

“There is always the possibility of making a difference. I was prepared for all this.”

– Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid Museum!

Over nine months after Santos’ work at the Madeira Airport was criticized, Real Madrid saddled Antonio Navarro Arteaga with the responsibility of unveiling a befitting bust for one of the greatest players in the club’s history

Real Madrid’s decision to immortalize the Five time ballon d’OR winner couldn’t have come as a surprise, and While Arteaga’s work received less criticism from Ronaldo’s admirers, the 60kg bronze statue didn’t escape the ridicule of the ever unforgiving Social media.

–Cristiano Ronaldo, Poklonnaya

The latest in a growing list of disappointing Ronaldo sculptures, the huge cast of the Real Madrid ace was unveiled at the Ice Sculpture Festival in Pobedy Park, Moscow

As part of developments to represent the 32 countries that will be at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the Portugal captain’s ice cast is one of 40 statues being erected across the country.

The Ice work of art is being used for the Ledovaya Moskva festival, which ends on January 8.

II –Gareth Bale, Cardiff, Wales

The Sculptor responsible for the CR7  statue at the Madeira airport was again, in the limelight for yet another bust, only this time, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid team mate Gareth Bale was on the receiving end.

The 40kg portrait, inspired by Paddy power, Irish bookmakers, was unveiled ahead of the Champions league final in Cardiff, which ended in a 4-1 triumph for Real Madrid over Serie-A big guns, Juventus.

III –Diego Maradona’s Effigy, India

In the closing weeks of 2017, Diego Maradona unveiled a statue of himself that looked more like former Fulham and England manager, Roy Hogdson

The 12-foot bronze sculpture of the football great stands tall in Kolkata, India, and has been likened to popular figures as Coronation Street’s Vera Duckworth, and Scottish singer Susan Boyle

The striking contrast in appearance no doubt attracted another round of ridicule from football fans who would stop at nothing to shame these artists.

IV –Michael Essien, Kumasi

The life-size bust of the former Chelsea and Real Madrid man lies along the Boadi road in Kumasi, Ghana, and only recently came to light after photos on social media revealed there was actually a Michael Essien statue in existence.

Although our opinions might differ on what the Ghanaian midfielder is trying to do, the one thing we can all agree on is the fact that this very sculpture definitely gives the aforementioned a fresh breath of hope.

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