A new statue of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has sparked controversy, this time in Goa, India.
Protesters gathered with black flags as the statue was unveiled in Calangute, expressing their anger at the choice of a Portuguese player given the colonial past of both countries.
According to AFP, Micky Fernandes, a former Indian international from Goa, said the choice was “damaging” and a “hangover” from Portuguese rule.
“Ronaldo is the best player in the world but we should still have a statue of a football player from Goa,” Fernandes told AFP.
Michael Lobo, a local minister for India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party, told AFP the aim was to inspire young people to excel not only within the country but internationally.
“All the boys and girls who want to make a career in football will be inspired by people like Cristiano Ronaldo,” Lobo said.
âIf you chase your dream and are passionate about it, you can reach a higher goal. This is what we wrote on the plaque.
Ronaldo is no stranger to the controversy surrounding the images of himself, with the best-known incident involving the unveiling of an original sculpture at Madeira Airport which has been ridiculed for its lack of resemblance to his subject.