Portugal Names Airport After Cristiano Ronaldo as Football Star is Honoured in Style (Photos)
Real Madrid striker, Cristiano Ronaldo now has an international airport named after him, after he was joined on Wednesday by guests and hundreds of fans in his native Madeira Islands for an official ceremony renaming of the local airport.
Portugal captain, Cristiano Ronaldo says he aims to live up to the honour and responsibility of having the airport on his home island of Madeira renamed after him.
The decision to officially add the Real Madrid star’s name to the airport, so it is now called the "Aeroporto Internacional da Madeira, Cristiano Ronaldo," was made by local regional government chief Miguel Albuquerque after Ronaldo captained Portugal to the Euro 2016 success last summer.
Although there has been some criticism of the idea from both locals on the island and politicians on Portugal’s mainland, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister Antonio Costa both attended the ceremony, which included the unveiling of a plaque featuring the airport’s new name and a bust of the player’s head.
"Thank you for being here in my honour," Ronaldo is quoted by O Jogo as saying at the event. "To see my name given to this airport is something very special, everyone knows that I am proud of my land and my country.
"I thank a lot the president of the regional government, who had the courage and strength to do this. My friend Miguel Albuquerque, I never asked for this, but I am very happy and honoured.
"I know that there were some people who did not agree, but I am not a hypocrite and I accept that some of those are here at this moment. That is all OK, we are all free, we live in a democracy and everyone has the right to their own opinion. I always prefer for those who have a position to say it openly, and not hide behind someone who speaks for them.
"I know the responsibility I have. I will always try to dignify Portugal and especially Madeira with dedication and a spirit of sacrifice and passion."
Rebelo de Sousa said at the ceremony that "genius" Ronaldo "will always be an example" and that the renaming of the airport "was an exceptional decision for an exceptional personality, who we are convinced will never disappoint us."
The event took place the day after Portugal hosted Sweden in a friendly, with Ronaldo opening the scoring before the visitors came back to win 3-2.
Ronaldo was born in Funchal in Madeira in 1985, and moved to Lisbon aged 12 to continue his football education at Sporting Lisbon, before going on to great success at Manchester United and Madrid, while making a record 138 appearances for Portugal and scoring a record 71 goals.
Funchal’s landmark waterside square has in recent years become known informally as the "Praca CR7," as it is now home to Ronaldo’s personal museum, a 3.4 metre tall bronze statue of the player, and the Pestana CR7 Funchal hotel.
Ronaldo has also received a number of prestigious personal aWhahds from the island’s authorities, including the "Medalla de Merito de la Asamblea Legislativa," the region’s highest honour.
Real Madrid striker, Cristiano Ronaldo now has an international airport named after him, after he was joined on Wednesday by guests and hundreds of fans in his native Madeira Islands for an official ceremony renaming of the local airport. Portugal captain, Cristiano Ronaldo says he aims to...firstname.lastname@example.orgAdministratorA blogger #AMonpointTV is my brand and am onpoint #Thank You For ReadingAM onpoint TV | Information & Entertainment Platform