A statue was unveiled outside of Belfast’s Windsor Park stadium earlier this week depicting the late, great soccer player George Best, though the buzz around it seems to be less than celebratory. In an outcry recalling responses to the 2017 bust of Cristiano Ronaldo, attention has been placed on the sculpture’s less-than-accurate depiction of the beloved Northern Irish athlete.
Critics on social media did not hesitate to voice their opinions, and frequent comparisons were made between the sculpture and the clay bust from Lionel Richie’s “Hello” music video, the Night King from Game of Thrones, and the robot character from the climactic scene of Michael Jackson’s 1988 film Moonwalker.
Tony Currie, the artist behind the work, told the BBC that the sculpture had been approved by Best’s family, and that’s what was most important. "Everyone is entitled to their opinion. [. . .] But anybody important to the statue, his family and his fans, they've all agreed that it's a good likeness and that's good enough for me." He said, speaking of the process of the statue’s creation, he said: "I tried to make a clay model of his head and showed it to friends and family and they all thought it was a good likeness"
The Best statue joins the ranks of weird sports sculptures around the globe, up there with the aforementioned Ronaldo bust, a statue of tennis star Andy Murray inexplicably modeled after the Chinese terracotta warriors, this unique take on Egypt-born soccer star Mo Salah’s likeness, and this peculiar work depicting Argentinian soccer superstar Diego Maradona.