Self-taught sculptor defends grinning Ronaldo bust

‘It’s impossible to please the Greeks and the Trojans, and even Jesus couldn’t please everyone’

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo attends the ceremony to rename Funchal airport as Cristiano Ronaldo Airport in Funchal. Photograph:  Rafael Marchante/Reuters

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo attends the ceremony to rename Funchal airport as Cristiano Ronaldo Airport in Funchal. Photograph: Rafael Marchante/Reuters

 

Self-taught sculptor Emanuel Santos defended his grinning bust of Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday, telling his thousands of online detractors he had followed the soccer star’s instructions down to the last wrinkle.

Santos, a 40-year-old former airport cleaner, said the Real Madrid striker had asked him to make the portrait more jovial, and had praised his efforts.

“It’s impossible to please the Greeks and the Trojans, and even Jesus couldn’t please everyone . . . It’s a matter of taste and not as simple as it seems,” Santos told Globo Esporte.

Officials unveiled the bronze bust at Madeira’s airport on Wednesday, triggering an onslaught of online abuse and ridicule.

Some focused on the sculpture’s toothy smile, others on its close-set, bulging eyes. All questioned the accuracy of its depiction of the Portugal captain, known for his model-like looks, who was there at the unveiling.

“Cristiano was one of the last people to arrive, but I spoke with him in the VIP room,” Santos said after the unveiling. “I asked him what he thought of the result and he said he liked it.”

Santos said Ronaldo had sent in suggestions while he was working on the sculpture.

“He only asked for some wrinkles that give him a certain expression to his face when he laughs to be changed,” the Madeira native added. “He said it made him look older and asked for it to be thinned out a bit to make it smoother and more jovial.”

The sculpture was unveiled to mark Madeira’s decision to name its airport Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo after its hometown star.

Ronaldo, who scored his 71st international goal for Portugal in their 3-2 defeat by Sweden on Tuesday, helped the national side to their first international title when they defeated France in the European Championships final last summer.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.