A statue of five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo in the Indian state of Goa has triggered a severe backlash on social media, APA reports quoting Sputnik.
Local officials claimed that the statue in the town of Calangute, situated barely 15 kilometres from Goa's state capital Panaji, was installed to motivate youngsters to take up football as a career.
"This is for the first time that the statue of Cristiano Ronaldo has come up in India. This is nothing but to inspire our youth", Goa Minister Michael Lobo told media on Tuesday. "If you want to take football to another level then this is what young boys and girls will look forward to, taking selfies and looking at the statue and getting inspired to play".
Twitter users, however, were not impressed with the explanation given by officials.
Ronaldo, who is Portuguese, reminded people of the state's colonial past as Goa was once ruled by Portugal and only became a part of independent India after the nation's army invaded the state in December 1961.