Two months ago, Madeira Airport was officially renamed the Cristiano Ronaldo Airport.

It was supposed to be a momentous occasion for all involved, but a sculpture resembling Niall Quinn's head grabbed the headlines because it looked absolutely fuck all like Ronaldo.

The statue went viral. It drew comparisons to 'The Head' from Art Attack. People thought John Arne Riise was the new face of Madeira.

To be honest, it was all round disaster, but the creator has not given up and is back with another masterpiece.

Credit: PA

Paddy Power have tracked down its creator, Emanuel Santos, and commissioned him to have another go - this time to honour Wales and Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.

The new artwork is Santos' first since the Ronaldo bust, and was unveiled today at the National Stadium of Wales ahead of the Champions League final on Saturday evening.

Fans in Cardiff can see the bust on display at Paddy Power's Cardiff store, on St Mary Street, until Sunday.

Credit: Ready10

The sculpture took 264 man hours to complete, including a whole day of Google image research.

It weighs 40kg and has an estimated value of £25,000.

Credit: Ready10

Credit: Ready10

Sculptor Emanuel Santos has teased his adoring fans by saying that he may be about to create a third sculpture:

"I have become a bit famous since my Ronaldo artwork with people telling me how much it made them smile, so to bring another famous footballer to life is a true honour.

"Maybe I'll create another one to make it a hat trick as they say in football."

A spokesperson at Paddy Power also commented on Bale's sculpture: "We think Emmanuel is a legend - just like the footballers he sculpts.

"We're privileged to be the first to exhibit his art in the UK and know the good people of Wales and visitors to the big final will love his tribute to the Welsh Wonder."

Credit: Ready10

If you want to see how much time and effort has gone into making Gareth Bale's sculpture, then a video outlining how it was made can be watched online.

I think it's fair to say that Bale's head looks far more realistic than poor Cristiano's.

Credit: Ready10

For more information on Santos and his sculpture, visit

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He dabbles in all things sport. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt.

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