A huge brass statue of Cristiano Ronaldo was unveiled at a park in Goa’s seaside village Calangute, creating a stir in the coastal state over the footballer’s Portuguese ties. The statue was inaugurated on Tuesday. The aim was to inspire the youth with this stalwart. Though black flag protests erupted at the site, protesters accused the state authorities of neglecting local football stalwarts such as Arjuna Awardee and former Indian football team captain Bruno.
Lobo said that despite India’s huge population, the country’s football team cannot beat even smaller countries and players who bring fame to Goa and India should be given proper coaching facilities in every village of Goa. “People who come to Cristiano Ronaldo Park will be inspired to be like him and play for Goa and India,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ricardo D’Souza, owner of the popular nightclub, Titos in Calangute, says that sculptures of local football icons like Bruno Coutinho and Samir Naik should have been installed instead. He said, ‘Very disappointed to hear about the construction of the statue of Ronaldo. Learn to be proud of our own icons like Samir Naik and Bruno Coutinho.’
At the unveiling ceremony, some right-wing protesters also alleged that sculpting a Portuguese citizen, Ronaldo, was an insult to Goa, especially as the state celebrates its 60th anniversary of independence from Portuguese rule.