Protesters gathered with black flags at the unveiling of the statue in Calangute, demonstrating their anger in the choice of a Portuguese player given the colonial past of the two countries.

According to AFP, Micky Fernandes, a former Indian international player who is from Goa, said the choice was “hurtful” and a “hangover” from Portuguese rule.

“Ronaldo is the best player in the world but still we should have a statue of a football player from Goa,” Fernandes told AFP.

Michael Lobo, a local minister with India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, told AFP the aim was to inspire young people to excel not just inside the country but internationally.

“All the boys and girls who want to make football a career will get inspired by people like Cristiano Ronaldo,” Lobo said.

“If you pursue your dream and you’re passionate about it then you can reach a higher goal. This is what we have written on the plaque.”

Ronaldo is no stranger to controversy regarding images of himself, with the most widely well known incident involving the unveiling of an original sculpture at Madeira airport which was ridiculed due to its lack of looking much like its subject.