‘Wobbly-chops’ former president over Ronaldo? Controversy still rages over Madeira airport’s new name

If you had to choose the face, Ronaldo would win hands down – but physical image is not what this controversy is about. Politicians are still scrapping over the decision by Madeira’s regional government to rename the archipelago’s airport after its home-grown football sensation Cristiano Ronaldo.

Minister for planning and infrastructures Pedro Marques has said he suspects the decision is illegal; President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has “shown his doubts about the choice” – and now a respected Socialist has said the airport would be better named after the island’s former president, Alberto João Jardim – a man whose physical attributes are so far from the sculpted perfection of CR7 that they would appear to come from a different universe.

Seixas da Costa is a former PS secretary of State and diplomat, explains Expresso.

He doesn’t even appear to like Jardim, who ruled over Madeira for 37 years – many of them filled with controversy – for ‘the opposite party’ (PSD).

But that’s the point of his critique. Even the name of Alberto João Jardim would “shock him less”, he claims, dubbing the choice of Ronaldo as “ridiculous”.

Letting rip on Facebook, Costa says: “Touristic opportunism has its limits, which are those of good sense and justice”.

But it looks unlikely that any last minute jibes or sour grapes will make any difference (click here). The airport is due to be renamed in style on Wednesday, after Portugal faces Sweden in the World Cup qualifier to be played at Estádio do Marítimo, Funchal.

This is the first time Ronaldo will have played for his country on the island of his birth.

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