The Best of the Worst Football Statues EVER.

Manchester City have announced that they will be honouring club legends David Silva and Vincent Kompany with statues outside the Etihad Stadium.

They should however tread carefully.

There have been some terrible attempts to honour footballing greats down the years. Lets take a look at the very best of the worst!

David Silva (Las Palmas)

David Silva has already been honoured in his home town of Las Palmas, Canaries.

Unveiled in 2009 the statue appears to either be a predicted depiction of Silva playing walking football at some point of 2040 or a tribute to Begbie from 90s hit movie Trainspotting.

Statue of David Silva in his home down in the Canary Islands.

Radamel Falcao (Santa Marta)

“Rule one of statue creation: Make sure it looks like the person.

Sadly not a rule obeyed by the man behind Radamel Falcao’s 19-foot immortalisation in his home town of Santa Marta.

At least they got the trademark celebration right.”

Michael Jackson/Nani (London/Manchester)

Nothing strange about putting a massive sculpture of Michael Jackson outside your football stadium right. Certainly, that was the view of former Fulham owner Mohammed Al Fayed who erected this monstrosity outside of Craven Cottage.

It didn’t help that it bared more than a passing resemblance to former Manchester United midfielder Nani either.

Al Fayed was keen to defend his piece of art when he responded to criticism of the statue saying:

“If some stupid fans don’t understand and appreciate such a gift they can go to hell. I don’t want them to be fans. If they don’t understand and don’t believe in things I believe in they can go to Chelsea, they can go to anywhere else.”

The statue has now (thankfully) been removed and was moved to display at Manchester’s National Football Museum before being removed in 2019

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed with statue of Michael Jackson outside Craven Cottage (PA)

Carlos Valderrama (Santa Marta)

At least they got the hair right.

It’s hard to disagree that artist Amilcar Ariza created an instantly recognisable recreation of Columbian No10 Valderrama to be erected in his home town of Santa Marta.

However, you have to question his use of what would appear to be Super-Noodles to depict Carlos’ trademark locks and why he decided that “Jazz Hands” would be the ideal post is anyone’s guess?

Carlos Valderrama Statue in Columbia (Credit: Tripadvisor)

Diego Maradona (Kolkata)

Why there is a statue of Diego Maradona in Kolkata, India is one thing, why it looks like a cross between Susan Boyle and Ian Krankie is another.

Best of all the unflattering 12ft bronze monstrosity was unveiled by the Argentine legend himself on a trip to the city. The man himself didn’t seem too upset saying;

“I am not a god of football but a simple footballer. I’m happy to be here in Kolkata again. It’s amazing to have my statue here.”

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

The first of two appearances from the Portuguese superstar in the list.

This one is certainly the lesser of two evils.

Erected in 2014 at Ronny’s CR7 hotel in Funchal, Portugal it’s not a bad likeness to the Juventus star… if it wasn’t for the slightly ludicrous bulge in the player’s shorts!

This has become somewhat of a visitor attraction in recent years with the lump in question have been polished to a shiny finish by people rubbing his shorts for good luck.

Ted Bates (Southampton)

Undoubtedly a Southampton legend it was no shock that the club wanted to mark Ted Bates 50 years of devotion to the Saints after his death in 2003.

Just over £100k was spent on the bronze statue that was removed after less than a week after prompting an angry reaction from supporters.

If you don’t recall what Ted Bates looked like in real life you can be assured that his arms and legs, in reality, were in perfect proportion with his body… unlike this statue.

Still not the biggest waste of money in the clubs history – that honour is still Dani Osvaldo’s.

Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

You have to admire the courage of attempting to honour both Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah and 70s disco icon, Leo Sayer, in one statue… but fair play to the artist who seems to have done just that.

The statue was unveiled in Salah’s home country of Egypt back in 2018 and was instantly likened to Gail Platt, Marv from Home Alone and even Beavis and Butthead… harsh.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Madeira)

The GOAT of terrible football statues has to be the bust of Christiano Ronaldo that was placed in Madeira airport in 2017 and unveiled by the man himself.

The bronze head appears to be the love child of Niall Quinn and Bez from the Happy Monday’s and was widely mocked on social media when it first showed its (ridiculous) face to the world.

Sculptor Emanuel Santos said his work was just “a matter of taste” but it certainly didn’t fit with the taste of Ronaldo’s family who asked for it to be replaced. It was, a year later, on the same day that Ronaldo scored a hattrick for his country vs Russia in the World Cup, with a far better likeness.

Not everyone is happy however and there has since launched a petition to have the old version of Ronny’s mug back in its place at the entrance to the airport – and rightly so!

Emanuel Santos bust of Christiano Ronaldo (PA News)

Remembering When Ronaldo And Batistuta Tore A European XI Apart

Football is packed with “what if” moments.

“What if” Steven Gerrard didn’t slip in 2013?

“What if” Ronaldo hadn’t suffered a series of serious knee injuries? How good would he have been?

“What if” Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi played in the same team?

That last one is something people like to debate the most. Imagine if two of the most lethal attackers of all time played in the same team. How many goals would they score? Who could possibly stop them?

Well, unfortunately, we’ll probably never know. But back in 1997, we had something similar, when FIFA put on an exhibition match packed with ridiculous talent.

It was December, seven months before the World Cup in France, and the day of the group stage draw for the upcoming tournament. FIFA had told each of the 32 participating countries to send one player to represent their nation; 16 to form a ‘Europe XI’ and the other half to form a ‘Rest of World XI’.

Everyone got involved. England sent Paul Ince (who would miss a penalty in last-16 defeat to Argentina during the tournament). France sent none other than Zinedine Zidane. Japan sent Hidetoshi Nakata, while Nigeria nominated Nwankwo Kanu (who wore his traditional number 4 shirt).

Future Watford and Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic was also called up, while presumably Gordon Durie won the argument/fight in the Scottish camp over who they were sending.

It looked like it would be a very well balanced match, until the Rest of the World team revealed who they would have as a strike partnership. Argentina’s Gabriel Batistuta and Brazil’s Ronaldo. Holy shit.

Remember, this was Ronaldo of Inter Milan, before serious knee injuries took their toll and stopped him from being an absolute freak of nature for longer. Gabriel Batistuta was arguably the second best striker in the world at the time (behind Ronaldo), so pairing them was borderline unfair.

There probably wasn’t a defence in the world that would have fancied their chances against those two, but Europe’s was about as good as you could get. They paired Alessandro Costacurta and Fernando Hierro at the back to try and contain the South American pair.

Hierro was Spain’s captain and played almost 500 times for Real Madrid. Costacurta was a partner of Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi at AC Milan and one of Italy’s finest ever defenders. Ronaldo and Batistuta had their work cut out.

The match started, and Europe were the first ones to strike. A mistake at the back allowed Romania’s Marius Lacatus to pounce and put Europe 1-0 up.

But then it became the R9 and Gabigol show.

First, Ronaldo picked the ball up deep and spotted the run of Colombia’s Antony De Avila, before sliding him in. That made it 1-1.

Five minutes later, De Avila returned the favour, giving it to Ronaldo and allowing him to have a go at Hierro one on one. The future Bolton Wanderers defender didn’t stand a chance, as the Brazilian dropped a shoulder to go inside, pushed it onto his left foot and smacked it into the far corner beyond the reach of Germany’s Andreas Kopke. 2-1.

Ronaldo was having fun, and it was time for Batistuta to join the party. The Argentine hung back for a layoff on the edge of the box as Ronaldo advanced down the right, before smashing a first-time finish past Kopke to make it 3-1. Only 30 minutes had passed.

Three soon became four, and it was the best of the lot. Surrounded by three players after receiving a pass from Batistuta from close range, Ronaldo flicked a pass back to the Fiorentina striker and he slammed in a fourth. 4-1 with 36 minutes gone.

They weren’t done there. Ronaldo then added his second goal six minutes later after a ridiculous pass from Batistuta convinced Kopke he could become a sweeper keeper and beat Ronaldo to the bouncing ball. He didn’t, and Ronaldo nodded it around him before passing into an empty net for 5-1.

The only reason the Rest of the World XI stopped scoring was because at half-time their manager, Carlos Alberto Parreira, substituted Ronaldo. He’d clearly decided that two goals and three assists in 45 minutes was enough. 

Derby County’s Deon Burton was the man to replace him, which is 100% the highlight of his career. Burton was Jamaica’s representative at the match – yes that’s right, Jamaica were at the 1998 World Cup! They didn’t disgrace themselves either, finishing third in a group containing Argentina, Japan and Croatia, although Batistuta did plunder a hat-trick against them in a 5-0 win. Must have been something Burton said to him.

With the score at 5-1, Europe got stronger in the second half and managed to reduce the deficit to 5-2, thanks to Zidane taking the mick out of Paraguayan goalkeeper Ruben Martin Ruiz Diaz before scoring.

The match was actually cut slightly short so the draw could start on time, but everyone got what they wanted. They got to see 45 minutes of two of the best strikers in the world partnering each other, and boy did they deliver. The instant understanding despite being from rival South American countries (and Italian clubs) was telepathic, and left fans wondering just how good a club could have been if they’d had those two as a regular strikeforce.

It’s hard to imagine something similar happening these days with players protected by clubs, agents and all the rest, but imagine how good it would be to see a European XI take on a World XI purely for the fun of it. 

De Bruyne, Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Europe XI vs a ROW team who could include the reforming of Barcelona’s dreaded MSN trio – Messi, Suarez and Neymar.

We’re salivating at the thought of it. Get it done FIFA, it might just make up for the years of highly questionable decisions that have come from your leadership.

Check out the highlights here: