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21st Sep 2015

Cristiano Ronaldo is just the latest in a long line of bronze sporting busts

Works of art?

Mikey Stafford

Tricky business, recreating famous sports people in bronze.

Sculptors’ work in not always appreciated. Sometimes, like with Cristiano Ronaldo’s likeness on Wednesday, it is ridiculed.

How does it match up to other sporting efforts?


Sonia O’Sullivan’s rendering in bronze in her home town of Cork garnered quite a reaction when it was unveiled in 2015.

Initial responses to the bronze sculpture were mixed…

…But the O’Sullivan statue, and Ronaldo, follows in a long line of sporting sculptures that divide public opinion. Some, like Nickey Rackard in Wexford Town, Michael Jordan in Chicago and baseball legend Ty Cobb in Detroit receive universal approval.

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 22: A Chicago Blackhawks jersey is seen on the statue of former Chicago Bull and Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan prior to the Blackhawks hosting the Boston Bruins in Game Five of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final at United Center on June 22, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

DETROIT - OCTOBER 14: A statue of Hall of Famer and former Detroit Tiger Ty Cobb is seen in Center field prior to the start of Game Four of the American League Championship Series between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics October 14, 2006 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

While others prove far less popular – such as the fishing Jack Charlton in Cork Airport, the terrifying ‘likeness’ of Usain Bolt in Kingston and statuesque Diego Maradona in Buenos Aires.

cropped jack

KINGSTON, JAMAICA - OCTOBER 17: Usain Bolt, the 200m and 400m sprinter poses in front of 'The Sprinter' statue at the National Stadium on October 17, 2006 in Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

cropped maradona

The best we can hope for is, that when they made some of those, they broke the mould.