Ronaldo and Other Horrible Sports Statues - Rolling Stone
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8 Worst Statues of Sports Legends

Cristiano Ronaldo joins the likes of Wayne Gretzky, David Beckham and Andy Murray in a very dubious hall of fame

Worst Sports Statues

A bust of Cristiano Ronaldo was the laughing stock of the internet after it was unveiled in Portugal.

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By now you’ve probably been horrified by the hilariously sorry excuse of a Cristiano Ronaldo statue recently unveiled at a Portugal airport renamed in his honor. Sadly, the bizarre effigy bears a more striking resemblance to Sloth from The Goonies than the futbol icon, and as a result has achieved worldwide viral infamy. The bust’s creator, Emanuel Santos, tried to defend it saying, “It is impossible to please the Greeks and Trojans,” but there’s really nothing good about that thing. 

Unfortunately, Ronaldo isn’t the first sports superstar to be spurned by a less-than-worthy statue. Here are seven other awful athlete statues meant to honor of the titans of our time but instead serves as the inspiration for countless nightmares across the globe. From the hilarious to the downright frightening, don’t say we didn’t warn you. 

David Beckham

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David Beckham

Whoever created this David Beckham that popped up around New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2012 must have also been inspired by Fantastic
s Silver Surfer. However, we must give credit where credit is due and
applaud the fact that Beckham is depicted not
in a soccer jersey here, but rather just a pair of tighty-whities. It’s a
detail that’s probably due to the fact that the whole thing was part of a 2012
ad campaign for H&M underwear. 

Walter Johnson statue

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Walter Johnson

One has to assume that whoever created this statue of old time Washington Senators ballplayer Walter Johnson meant for it to be displayed in some sort of twisted baseball-themed haunted house. The initial idea was to depict Johnson “in motion,” but the resulting mess makes the famed right-handed pitcher resemble a demon freshly released from the bowels of hell. Don’t take our word for it: Johnson’s grandson and official biographer Henry Thomas called the statue “hideous,” “ridiculous,” “not even close” and “awkward.” Oh, and: “His delivery point is all wrong. His legs are too stiff. The ‘W’ on his uniform is too big.”

 Tell us how you really feel, Henry.

Wayne Gretzky

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Wayne Gretzky

He’s universally known as The Great One, but this statue of Wayne Gretzky (erected in Edmonton, Alberta in 1989 to honor his time with the Oilers) has him looking more like one of the pilgrims who celebrated the first Thanksgiving than that of the hockey giant. Designed by sculptor John Weaver and bronzesmith Don Begg at Studio West in Cochrane, Alberta, the statue weights nearly 1000 lbs. and stands over nine feet. It depicts Gretzky holding a Stanley Cup and wearing a blank jersey, which as a result comes across looking more like a burlap sack. 

Arthur Ashe

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Arthur Ashe

Another superstar in the world of tennis, Arthur Ashe sowed an indelible legacy thanks to both his unforgettable athletic domination and a penchant for activism. With that said, why the heck does his statue in Richmond, Virginia show Ashe dangling a book just out of reach of a group of kids who appear thirsty for knowledge? To be fair, the statue also depicts a tennis racket in Ashe’s other hand. So… that’s good, we guess.

Stan Musial

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Stan Musial

Whoever concocted this Stretch Armstrong-ish statue of St. Louis Cardinals icon Stan Musial must have had very little understanding how the body of human males appear thanks to the downright weird ligaments given to Musial. Whether the issue is the placement of his belt, the length of his hips, or simply the way players of his era used to dress, the quality of Musial’s statue pales in comparison to his play on the field. Sorry, Stan.

Andy Murray statue

China Foto Press/Zuma

Andy Murray

Players who reign supreme in tennis are typically showered with trophies and medals, but there’s a tradition in place at China’s Shanghai Rolex Masters where champions are bequeathed with something a tad different: a terracotta statue of themselves. Tennis superstar Andy Murray learned about this prize the hard way when he (we’re using this word lightly) ‘won’ the competition in 2010 and was given a figure that looks more like one of America’s founding fathers rather than Murray himself. With a Revolutionary War-era hairdo and dramatic scowl, Murray was probably wishing they just put a medal around his neck and called it a day.

Harry Carey statue in front of Wrigley Field

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Harry Caray

“Holy Cow!” is right. The good news is that Cubs legend Harry Caray, one of the most well-known announcers in baseball history, holds the ‘honor’ of having a statue outside of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The bad news? It appears as if an evil witch cast a spell on the beloved announcer. The mere sight of it is enough to send a shiver down even the most courageous man’s spine. Why is Caray reminiscent of a flesh-eating zombie? What’s with the ghost-like figures being conjured at his feet? This is one injustice a World Series ring can’t alleviate. 

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