A statue of Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo on his native island of Madeira has been vandalised with the name and number of Barcelona rival Lionel Messi placed on the back, enraging his sister Katia Aveiro.
The statue was erected in the Madeiran capital of Funchal in December 2014, one year after Ronaldo opened the CR7 museum dedicated to his professional career.
The graffiti appeared on Tuesday, with the 30-year-old beaten to the Ballon d’Or, which he had won for the past two years, by Messi the previous day.
Ronaldo’s sister was infuriated by the action, going as far as to claim that the perpetrators would be more at home in war-torn Syria.
“You all know I’m this man’s sister, and above all how much proud I am to be so, and to know the wonderful and fighting person he is,” Aveiro wrote in a lengthy statement posted on Twitter.
“I find the act in itself a disgrace but what I find more shameful is the envy that surrounds him and the anger that some unloved and frustrated pig-headed people display in public in a disgraceful way which leaves me embarrassed and sad as a Portuguese person.
“The people that are responsible for this and other negative things directed towards this person should know that our island was recently voted the world’s leading island destination not just for the beautiful sea that surrounds us, nor for the marvellous gastronomy we also have nor the warm Madeiran welcome.
“It was in part thanks to this great Madeiran figure that honours his origins and from time to time emphasises it in public.
“Most of us should thank and salute to this man, it’s thanks to him that a lot of Madeirenses still have their jobs.
“My beautiful island, regrettably, is still inhabited by some frustrated savages who deserve to live in Syria, between people that show no respect and hold no value for life in society.
“I apologise for the ones who live the sadness of war, but I believe some people don’t belong on the land they live in.”