Move over, Cristiano Ronaldo bust: Michael Essien is here to join the party.

By 90Min
January 03, 2018

It's an incredible honor for public figures to be immortalized in the form of statues, but in football it seems that the standard in quality art is diminishing at an astonishing rate.

Plenty of high-profile footballers have had to take the 'honor' of being replicated with a pinch of salt after seeing the final products, with too many likenesses failing to capture the essence of their subjects.

So what are the worst statues in football history? Here are seven of the strangest replicas ever unveiled to the public.


Diego Maradona

If there's anything this statue manages to capture about Diego Maradona, it's the World Cup winner's mischievousness. That's pretty much where the resemblance ends.

The Argentina legend undoubtedly deserves to be immortalized in the form of a statue, such is his standing in the game, but this mess, unveiled in Kolkata, is not a worthy representation of Maradona.

Perhaps someone could sculpt an image from Maradona's colorful career away from the pitch, perhaps of the Fujairah manager firing shots at reporters with a compressed-air rifle?


Alexis Sanchez

Regarded as a national hero in Chile thanks to his country's two recent Copa America triumphs, Alexis Sanchez is one of the nation's greatest ever footballers. However, is this a good tribute? 

The sculpture bares little resemblance to Sanchez, although the club badges to its side leave you in little doubt as to who the honored recipient is.

Sanchez may have to wait a little while until another artist takes a crack at recreating him, as a statue is unlikely to pop up in north London given his current contract situation.


Alan Shearer

After scoring a mammoth 206 goals in 405 appearances for Newcastle, it was only fair for the Magpies to honor Alan Shearer with a statue.

Stu Forster/GettyImages

It was paid for by the family of the former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd, reportedly costing £250,000, but still looks more cartoonish than lifelike. 

Some Twitter users claimed the statue reminded them of former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson and television presenter Dale Winton.


Michael Jackson

This was such an impressively bad brainwave from Fulham chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed, met with almost universal bemusement from fans of the Craven Cottage club.

Ian Walton/GettyImages

Most Fulham fans failed to see the relevance of Jackson's statue at their club's ground and were subsequently told to "go to hell" by Al-Fayed, who defended the tribute despite its lackluster reception.

It's since been moved to the National Football Museum in Manchester, but it's clay-like appearance still makes it a rotten piece of art.


Cristiano Ronaldo

For a man who cares so much about his appearance, Cristiano Ronaldo must have been deeply upset by the wacky statute that was unveiled at a ceremony at Madeira Airport.

Octavio Passos/GettyImages

The airport was renamed the Cristiano Ronaldo Airport in honor of the Portugal international back in 2017, but that honor may have been tarnished somewhat by the strange bronze likeness.

The Real Madrid forward has a few statues scattered around the place, including one with a strange bulge, but this is undoubtedly the worst. 


Luis Suarez

It's fair to say the Barcelona striker isn't the most handsome man going, but somehow this horror show of a sculpture managed to make Suarez look even more nightmarish in statue form.

What's worse for Suarez is that the likeness, placed outside a shopping center in his hometown of Salto, was vandalized while he was attending Lionel Messi's wedding last summer.

Don't look at those teeth for too long, or you'll be mentally scarred for life.


Michael Essien

And finally, the piece de resistance, is this tragic recreation of former Chelsea and Ghana midfielder Michael Essien.

In the latest line of wacky and weird football statues, Essien has earned his place among some of the most famous players in the world.

The likeness is strangely robotic and without the Chelsea kit there is little chance you would be able to guess who the artist was trying to replicate.

Somewhere in the darkest depths of Hell, this statue is alive and tormenting people. Seriously, it's that hideous.

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