Fans were left bemused after a statue of Cristiano Ronaldo was unveiled earlier this week, seeming to look worlds apart from the Portuguese footballer. But now Emanuel Santos, the sculptor behind the piece of art, has defended his work, saying that he was asked to make the bust "more jovial" and that Cristiano, 32, gave his seal of approval.
The Guardian reports Mr Santos as saying: "It is impossible to please the Greeks and Trojans. Neither did Jesus please everyone. This is a matter of taste, so it is not as simple as it seems. What matters is the impact that this work generated. I used as a base some photos of Cristiano Ronaldo that I found on the internet, nothing specific. I put the photos next to me and started working on the bust."
The sculptor was asked to make the bust look more 'jovial'
Cristiano apparently asked for some minor alterations, but on the whole approved of the statue. Mr Santos told Globo: "He only asked for some wrinkles that give him a certain expression in his face when he's about to laugh to be changed. He said it made him look older and asked for it to be thinned out a bit to make it smoother and more jovial. But they gave it the go-ahead; they liked what they saw."
The Real Madrid striker, who has been named Fifa player of the year four times, appeared to see the funny side as the bust was unveiled on Wednesday. It was revealed at a ceremony on the island of Madeira, where Cristiano was born, to name the island's Funchal city airport after him. Cristiano was pictured smiling and laughing as he took in the bust, seeming to show his approval.
Fans have been sharing their reactions on Twitter
His fans on Twitter have also been sharing their reactions, with some convinced that the statue resembles Republic of Ireland striker Niall Quinn. BBC newsreader Dan Walker wrote: "When you send the statue guy a picture of Niall Quinn instead of Cristiano Ronaldo #Awkward." Another fan likened the bust to the statue from Art Attack, writing: "The Cristiano Ronaldo bust at the airport carrying his name. This is Art Attack..." A third failed to see the resemblance, tweeting: "For a very handsome man, Ronaldo has had some appalling luck with statue-makers."