A statue of Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo has been built in the Indian state of Goa in order to motivate youngsters to take up football as a career in order to grow the sport in the state and country.
While launching Ronaldo's statue in the inaugural event, Goa’s minister Michael Lobo said, “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,” as reported by ANI.
Mr.Lobo added, "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."
The minister also tweeted regarding the same as below as he said, "It was an honour to inaugurate the beautification of open space, landscaping, garden with foundation & walkway."
Mr. Lobo also said that there was a lot of opposition towards the placement of the statue and that those individuals do not want to see the country progress in sports.
“There are few people who are opposing this. Looks like they hate football. Football belongs to everyone. It is not divided by religion or caste but still they are opposing with black flags. Their minds are black. One cannot argue with people who have black minds. They don't consider football as a religion.”
Mr. Lobo was hinting here at various influential individuals who are opposing the installation of the statue for various reasons.
Meanwhile, as reported by the Business Standard, in opposition to the statue, owner of a popular nightclub, Titos in Calangute, Ricardo D'Souza said, "Very disappointed to hear of the statue of Ronaldo being erected. Learn to take pride in our own icons like Samir Naik and Bruno Coutinho's statue."
A right-wing activist Guru Shirodkar stated, "To erect a statue of a Portuguese footballer this year is sacrilegious. We condemn this. There are many freedom fighters in Goa who have been insulted. If Lobo wanted to erect 'footballers statues, he should have erected Bruno Coutinho's statue
Ronaldo's statue cost Rs. 12 lakhs to build and has been in preparation since three years before the inaugration was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in india.