Cristiano Ronaldo’s statue in Funchal, capital of his home island of Madeira, has been tagged with the name and shirt number of arch-rival Lionel Messi, according to local press reports.
The graffiti was put on the statue overnight on Tuesday, just hours after Barcelona’s Argentine star Messi claimed a fifth world player of the year award, beating out Real Madrid’s Portuguese striker and three-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo in the process.
The name Messi and the number 10, both scrawled in red, had already been cleaned off the statue, the Diario de Noticias da Madeira said.
“It’s a shameful act committed out of jealousy towards him,” said Ronaldo’s sister Katia Aveiro, with pictures of the tagged statue predictably doing the rounds on social media.
Ronaldo unveiled the 3.40-metre-high bronze effigy of himself in December 2014 on the Funchal seafront, a few hundred metres from his own self-financed museum.