An infamous bust of Cristiano Ronaldo mocked for its resemblance to former Sunderland striker Niall Quinn and The Head from Art Attack has been replaced by a new model.
On the same day that the Real Madrid forward made headlines with a stunning hat-trick to earn Portugal a 3-3 draw against Spain at the World Cup, officials at Madeira Airport installed an updated sculpture in place of one met with widespread ridicule when it debuted last year.
Critics on social media said the original looked more like Quinn than Ronaldo, who is as renowned for his well maintained image as he is for his goal-scoring exploits.
Among the harsher comments were those who compared the bust to The Head from Art Attack – the popular children’s television programme.
Local artist Emanuel Santos came to the defence of his creation, which took three weeks to make, claiming that it was “a matter of taste”.
But the ridicule has clearly proved too much to bear, with its replacement statue trading a goofy grin for the more po-faced look that Ronaldo – who was born and raised on Madeira – is known for.
According to Madeira Island News, airport director Duarte Ferreira said the change had been requested by family of the striker through the CR7 Museum, which is also on the island.
Despite that, the new bust has not proved popular with everyone, with an online petition launched to have its predecessor put back in place.
Titled “Petition for the immediate return of Cristiano Ronaldo’s bust to Madeira airport”, the post on peticaopublica.com describes the original as “an attraction for our island” and the substitute as “unacceptable”.
It has been signed by more than 300 people.
While the location of the original bust is unknown, the real Ronaldo remains in Russia ahead of Portugal’s second Group B match against Morocco on Wednesday.
The final round of opening fixtures takes place on Monday, with England to take on Tunisia.
Gareth Southgate’s squad have arrived in Volgograd, where fans have been gathering ahead of the Three Lions’ first game of the tournament.
It kicks off at 7pm UK time.