Sculptor of infamous Ronaldo bust takes second chance at CR7

Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images
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“Photos,” ProSoccerTalk’s headline began, “Bizarre Cristiano Ronaldo statue unveiled.”

And the adjective choice was a kind one.

It was exactly one year ago Thursday when a busy of Ronaldo’s face was unveiled at the airport on his home island of Madeira, Portugal, bringing a great deal of jokes.

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It didn’t look the Ronaldo. How did this get approved, and unveiled? And did Ronaldo see it first?

A year later, Kelly Naqi of Bleacher Report gave the sculptor (video link) some time on camera. It turns out Ronaldo had approved the bust, but sculptor Emanuel Jorge da Silva Santos has been tortured by immense ridicule since the unveiling anyway.

Recollecting the events of last March had the sculptor on the verge of his tears and his wife freely crying as they discussed their fears that their 5-year-old son would be bullied (he mercifully was not) on account of the sculpture.

The story wasn’t strictly about reliving the past, but rather giving Santos a shot at redemption. The sculptor from Ronaldo’s home island was given the option of having a second go at making a Ronaldo bust. He did, and it went better.

Why did he accept the challenge-slash-opportunity?

“One day,” he says, “I want my son to understand that if he enjoys doing something very much, [he] doesn’t let himself be defeated with negative criticism. Sooner or later, if we believe in ourselves and are persistent, we can succeed in life. Even though his father never had a degree, isn’t a teacher or a doctor [and comes] from a poor family, he was able to make something of himself in this world.”

It’s got those Julius Caesar eyes, but far be it from us to criticize the effort.