Controversy continues over CR7’s name for Madeira airport

Portugal’s football hero Cristiano Ronaldo was preparing for an embarrassing inauguration today as criticism of the Madeiran government’s decision to name the archipelago’s airport after him continued to rage.

Right up to the 11th hour, national media was asking: ‘is it right to name an airport after a footballer?’

As Público ran a text this morning with the opinion of two historians – one in favour, the other against – television commentator and journalist Miguel Sousa Tavares echoed opinions that the whole situation is “ridiculous”.

“Do we find a Pelé airport in Brazil? A Maradona in Argentina? It is as if Madeira never had a writer, a poet, a musician, an architect, engineer or even a Discoverer to name the airport after”.

Sousa Tavares pointed out that Madeira already has a square named after Ronaldo as well as “a statue, a museum, a hotel and now an airport. The only thing left”, he said, “is to change the name of the island to Cristiano Ronaldo…”

Against this level of antipathy, the inauguration was made doubly difficult by the fact that Sweden snatched what looked like being Portugal’s victory in the friendly game played the night before at Funchal’s Marítimo stadium.

What should have been a golden win for the golden boy returning home with his golden team suddenly became an ‘own goal fiasco’ in front of thousands of Madeirans, the president of the Republic – who himself has queried the legality of naming an airport after Ronaldo – and prime minister António Costa.

Thus today’s ceremony – due to begin at 11am – is unlikely to have the razzmatazz Madeiran authorities had been hoping for.

Needless to say, it is being ‘live streamed’ online, on

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