A botched Cristiano Ronaldo bust is soccer’s greatest meme

Photo via Christian Bertrand/Shutterstock Coral/Twitter (Licensed) Remix by Jason Reed

Cristiano Ronald had a statue made in his honor, but it was very clearly not made in his honor.

Cristiano Ronaldo, soccer legend and male model, is probably one of the most attractive human beings on our dying planet. But you wouldn’t know it from the monstrous new Ronaldo bust that’s been installed in Portugal’s Madeira Airport, now called the Cristiano Ronaldo Airport. Any resemblance between man and statue is tenuous at best.

Ronaldo showed up for the christening—Cristiano-ing?—of his namesake airport and posed next to the bust, but that only served to highlight how little it actually looks like him. The situation brings back painful memories of the 2012 incident where an 80-year-old amateur painter attempted to restore an Ecce Homo fresco, but ended up making Jesus look like a demented lion. Or, more recently, the tiger statue that was removed from an Indonesian army base because its face was too goofy.

The Ronaldo bust is the latest entry in the canon of so-bad-it’s-good art memes and, like its predecessors, it’s being viciously roasted online. That’s fine, though: melting it down to a puddle wouldn’t make it look any less like Ronaldo.

https://twitter.com/FootbalIStuff/status/847093124291837952

https://twitter.com/Swayam_93/status/847084884288004100

The sculpture has been panned almost universally, but there are still a few people who just don’t see the problem:

And this is somehow only the second-most embarrassing situation to which Cristiano Ronaldo has been subjected in his storied career. Hate to kick a man when he’s down, but let’s flash back to his 2014 commercial for the Japanese facial exercise product Fitness PAO. It is … not dignified.

It must be humiliating to be Ronaldo, when your only reasons to get out of bed every day are being an elite athlete with once-in-a-generation good looks who has four FIFA Ballons d’Or and just got an airport named after him. Tough life.

Jay Hathaway

Jay Hathaway

Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.