The Real Madrid star has been honoured at a ceremony on Wednesday although acknowledged that not everyone would be pleased with the gesture
Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo insists he “didn’t ask for this” after attending a ceremony in Madeira on Wednesday to celebrate the area’s airport being named after him.
Madeira Airport has been renamed Cristiano Ronaldo Airport in a move initially announced last year.
A bizarre-looking bust of Ronaldo’s head was unveiled along with a sign as part of the occasion and it will sit at the arrivals terminal.
The 32-year-old attended a ceremony at the airport the day after scoring his 71st international goal in Portugal’s 3-2 friendly defeat against Sweden.
His partner Georgina Rodriguez and mother Maria Aveiro were also in attendance, along with hundreds of fans.
Some local politicians opposed the decision, but Miguel Albuquerque, the president of Madeira’s government, said it was a worthy tribute given everything the player has done as a representative of the area.
Attention was briefly diverted from Ronaldo when a prankster appeared on the balcony dressed as Batman before being led away from the scene by police.
“Seeing my name being given to this airport is something very special, everyone knows that I am proud of my country and especially my home city.
“Thank you very much to the president of the regional government Miguel Albuquerque for having had the courage and the firmness to do it.
“My friend, I never asked for this, but I’m not a hypocrite, and I’m happy and honoured. I know some people do not agree and I know some people who are not here would be happy for this moment.
“I will try to dignify Portugal and especially Madeira with a spirit of sacrifice, dignity and passion.”
On Monday, Ronaldo posted an image on social media showing him and his Portugal team-mates posing with the Euro 2016 trophy on their arrival at the airport.