Madeiran artist Emanuel Santos was commissioned to create the bust of Ronaldo, which took him three weeks to complete and he insisted both he and the Real Madrid star were happy with the end product.
The Aeroporto da Madeira in Ronaldo’s home town of Funchal has been renamed in his honour and the bronze bust was unveiled at a ceremony on Wednesday.
That followed a decision by the Madeira regional government after Portugal won the 2016 European Championship, despite opposition to the move.
Pictures of the bust were shared on social media, sparking disparaging comments about the workmanship.
Some suggested it bore more of a resemblance to former Arsenal and Manchester City forward Niall Quinn, or The Head from BBC television programme Art Attack than Ronaldo.
Mr Santos defended his work.
He told Globo.com: “He only asked for some wrinkles that gave him a certain expression in his face when he’s about to laugh to be changed.
“He said it made him look older and asked for it to be thinned out a bit to make it smoother and more jovial. But they gave it the go-ahead and they liked what they saw.”
But Santos added: “It is impossible to please the Greeks and Trojans. Neither did Jesus please everyone.
“This is a matter of taste, so it is not as simple as it seems. What matters is the impact that this work generated. There is always the possibility of making a difference, I was prepared for all this.”
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