What is the controversy over Cristiano Ronaldo’s newly erected in Goa?
Arguably one of the most renowned footballers in the world Cristiano Ronaldo was recently honoured in India, as a statue of the Manchester United player was erected in Panaji, Goa. The reason behind setting up a statue of Ronaldo: To promote the growth of football in India.
However, the statue has instead sparked a massive political debate, as to why the Portuguese captain was chosen to promote football, why not an Indian player instead?
Protestors also pointed to the fact that Goa was once colonised by the Portuguese, so why was Ronaldo’s bust erected in Goa, as it could be a reminder of Goa’s pre-independence rule under Portugal.
“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,” Goa minister Michael Lobo told ANI. He further continued, “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.”
For the love of football and at the request of our youth we put up Cristiano Ronaldo’s statue in the park to inspire our youngsters to take football to greater heights. It was an honour to inaugurate the beautification of open space, landscaping, garden with foundation & walkway. pic.twitter.com/VU5uvlSlMT
— Michael Lobo (@MichaelLobo76) December 28, 2021
However, many detractors called out the move for being unsensible, owing to the fact the Goa only got independence from Portuguese rule in 1961. Why choose a Portuguese icon to promote football, why not an Indian player they questioned.
Moreover, this is not the first time that a Cristiano Ronaldo statue has landed in hot waters, as a similar incident happened back in 2017 when Ronaldo’s newly erected status in his home region of Madeira faced backlash due to its strange appearance. The statue appeared disoriented and looked very different to that of Ronaldo’s actual face.
Creator of Ronaldo’s statue in Madeira, Emmanuel Santos hit back at his critics by saying that “even Jesus did not please everyone.”