Diego Maradona statue provokes mirth on social media

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    Story highlights

    • Diego Maradona statue unveiled in India
    • Provokes much humor on social media
    • 2017 has been year of football statues

    (CNN)It's been quite the year for football's gods being honored with statues -- not least in the reaction they have provoked.

    Famously known for his "Hand of God" goal against England in the 1986 World Cup, Diego Maradona is the latest football great to be immortalized, this time with a 12-foot statue in India.
      The Argentine was on hand for the bust's recent unveiling in Kolkata.
      The bronze statue of Argentine footballer Diego Maradona in the Indian city of Kolkata.
      The bronze representation is of a youthful Maradona, with a head of hair that appears to make him look more like one of the Beatles than a footballer, holding aloft the World Cup trophy.
      Almost single handed, the Argentine guided his country to their 1986 World Cup success with a series of stunning individual performances.
      "I am not god of football but a simple footballer," said Maradona after the unveiling. "It's amazing to have my statue here."
      However, the statue has provoked plenty of mirth on social media, with Maradona's visage prompting comparisons with singer Susan Boyle, grandmas and a youthful Roy Hodgson, who now manages English Premier League club Crystal Palace.

      'Total bust'

      Earlier this year Portuguese artist Emanuel Santos designed a sculpture of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo's head to commemorate an airport being renamed after him.
      Some social media users said the bust looked more like other athletes, obscure art and the character Sloth from the film "The Goonies." It was like something from a horror movie, one football podcast joked on Twitter.
      2017 has been a year when Ronaldo has had not one, but two busts of himself unveiled. The good news for the Portuguese star is the second one actually looks like him.
      Situated at Real's Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain, the bronze figure -- made by famous Spanish sculptor Jose Antonio Navarro Arteaga -- shows a more striking likeness of Ronaldo with naturalistic eyes dreamily looking into the distance, thick arched brows, a beauty mark resting above lifelike curved lips and perfectly coiffed hair, among other details.
      Maradona, who is now 57 years old, is one of the greatest players in soccer history, having helped Napoli win two Italian league titles after a difficult two-year stay at Barcelona -- both clubs signed him for world-record fees.
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      But his career was marred by controversy over drug use -- he was thrown out of the 1994 World Cup after testing positive for ephedrine -- and he suffered from subsequent health problems.
      There's another statue of Maradona in his former club Boca Juniors' museum. Unveiled in 2006, the fiberglass and cement bust was made by sculptor Elizabeth Eichhorn.