Cristiano Ronaldo Statue in India's Goa Sparks Twitterstorm

© REUTERS / PHIL NOBLESoccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Arsenal - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - December 2, 2021 Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal
Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Arsenal - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - December 2, 2021 Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.12.2021
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Cristiano Ronaldo may be the holder of numerous world records in football but he's still a controversial figure on the planet owing to his past actions. In 2009, an American woman accused him of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel, an allegation the footballer has denied.
A statue of five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo in the Indian state of Goa has triggered a severe backlash on social media.
Local officials claimed that the statue in the town of Calangute, situated barely 15 kilometres from Goa's state capital Panaji, was installed to motivate youngsters to take up football as a career.
"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 media on Tuesday. "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".
Twitter users, however, were not impressed with the explanation given by officials.
Ronaldo, who is Portuguese, reminded people of the state's colonial past as Goa was once ruled by Portugal and only became a part of independent India after the nation's army invaded the state in December 1961.
Meanwhile, others argued that instead of installing a statue of Ronaldo, authorities should have unveiled a statue of the Indian team's skipper Sunil Chhetri or other footballing legends in the country.
Despite the severe backlash, the Manchester United forward, who is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, remains hugely popular across the world, including India.
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