Zlatan’s Malmo Meltdown! 5 football statues that should’ve been ditched

You sure that's Ronaldo mate?

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News reached us today that Zlatan Ibrahimovic had the satisfied smirk wiped off his moustachioed mug by some disgruntled Swedes – they really do exist – this week when his recently unveiled likeness was set alight by furious fans!

Malmo’s marauding hoard of supporters took exception to the top-knotted one by a 25% stake in rivals Hammarby this week, and let their feeling be known by assaulting the Ibra-shaped edifice erected by the Swedish FA outside their ground.

Looks like that’ll be on the move soon.

It got us thinking that maybe there are a few other footballing monuments that could do with a visit from the Malmo Ultras and their tanks full of kerosene.

SANTA CRUZ, MADEIRA, PORTUGAL – MARCH 29: Statue of Cristiano Ronaldo at the ceremony at Madeira Airport to rename it Cristiano Ronaldo Airport on March 29, 2017 in Santa Cruz, Madeira, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Madeira

Cocky Cris was “honoured” by the local airport on his home island of Madeira with a bust who’s staring eyes and quizzical grimace suggested the Portuguese forward’s most significant contribution to the world wasn’t hundreds of stunning goals but rather asking the question “who farted?” at every opportunity.

Ted Bates, Southampton

Bates’ contribution to Southampton FC was marked with a squat, long-limbed dwarf-version of himself fixed with a bow-like rictus grin that suggested Malmo fans may have got to him already and started melting his face. Adding insult to injury for the fans who’d raised funds to commemorate the club legend, the statue’s jutting chin meant it bore an eerie resemblance to the chairman of their hated rivals Portsmouth, Milan Mandaric.

Lesson: ensure your sculptor isn’t a fan of the club down the road.

A general view of the Bob Stokoe statue at the Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland Association Football Club, in Sunderland, northeast England, on April 2, 2013. New Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio on Tuesday faced a barrage of questions about his support for fascism, after his appointment prompted a club director to quit and outrage among many fans. The club in northeast England, a former industrial area built on coal mining, ship-building and heavy industry, also provoked the ire of one trade union, which has demanded that they remove its banner from their Stadium of Light ground. AFP PHOTO / GRAHAM STUART (Photo credit should read GRAHAM STUART/AFP/Getty Images)

Bob Stokoe, Sunderland

The Mackems’ manager mad run across the Wembley turf in 1973 sealed Stokoe Han Solo-like in the memory of yer da forever  – and for whoever sat and watched all six-hours of build-up on FA Cup Final Saturday back in the day. That’d make you wonder why Sunderland chose to use an image that depends on movement as the design for something rock solid to memorialise the ex-boss, especially when it makes him look like wrong’un jumping out from the bushes down the park.

Brandi Chastain, San Francisco

Women’s football’s come a long way in recent times, and one sign of that is great players getting mangled in molten metals. The United States’ winning penalty scorer in their 1999 World Cup triumph was inducted into the San Francisco sports hall of fame in 2018 with a plaque that gave her the hair of Norman Bates mother and the face of a constipated Piers Morgan. Not good.

A statue of his friend Michael Jackson unveiled by Fulham’s Chairman Mohamed Al Fayed stands on its podium before their English Premier League football match at Craven Cottage, London, England, on April 3, 2011. AFP PHOTO/GLYN KIRK
FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY Additional licence required for any commercial/promotional use or use on TV or internet (except identical online version of newspaper) of Premier League/Football League photos. Tel DataCo +44 207 2981656. Do not alter/modify photo. (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Jackson, Fulham

No complaints about the likeness on this one to be fair. They really nailed the King of Pop in his late-eighties/early-nineties pomp, right down to the lifeless look in his eyes – but what the f**k that had to do with Fulham in 2011 wasn’t quite clear. Then-owner Mohamad Al-Fayed had hosted the singer at Craven Cottage previously, so thought it made perfect sense to stick the monument up for a day that no one by Al-Fayed remembered. It was removed after he sold the club, and the empty plinth now doubles a trophy cabinet for the club.

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