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In Goa, an Indian state, a bust of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has been erected to inspire youngsters who dream of achieving great things.
But many do not believe the statue's installation is a positive thing due to its link to colonialism.
Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo's statue installed in Panaji, Goa. To inspire youth &take football to next level in the state, country, we came up with this statue. We want our children to become like this legendary footballer, who is a global legend:Goa Minister Michael Lobo(28.12) pic.twitter.com/KthPHc7ox0— ANI (@ANI) December 29, 2021
The newly unveiled Cristiano Ronaldo statue in india to inspire the youth. ❤️pic.twitter.com/x2wHrcAzQC— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) December 29, 2021
Ronaldo is Portugal's captain and all-time record goalscorer and Goa was captured by the Portuguese in the 16th century.
Goa was an overseas territory for the Iberian country for more than 400 years until it was annexed by India in 1961.
Michael Lobo, minister of Goa, is adamant the statue is there in the town of Calangute for the right reasons.
"This is for the first time that the statue of Cristiano Ronaldo has come up in India. This is nothing but to inspire our youth," Lobo told ANI.
"If you want to take football to another level then this is what young boys and girls will look forward to, taking selfies and looking at the statue and getting inspired to play.
"There are some people who have opposed the installation of the statue and I think they are the staunch football haters.
They don't consider football as a religion. Football is a game where everyone is equal, irrespective of caste, colour, religion, etc."
Some people on social media have been critical of the statue, believing they should have made it for an Indian player.
Ronaldo has received many statues over the years, including one in his hometown of Madeira that became infamous due to his lack of resemblance.
The Cristiano Ronaldo bust at the airport carrying his name. This is Art Attack... pic.twitter.com/tTVmQBMgms— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) March 29, 2017
Ronaldo, who had a priceless reaction when he first laid eyes on the statue, ended up being trolled relentlessly.
However, Emanuel Santos, the man who created the sculptor, hit back at the comments, saying, "Even Jesus didn't please everyone. It's impossible to please both the Greeks and the Trojans.
"It's a matter of taste, it's not as simple as it sounds."
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