From Bobby Moore to Cristiano Ronaldo - the best and worst football statues

As a statue to commemorate Sergio Aguero's title-wnning goal for Manchester City is unveiled, we look at the best and worst football-related sculptures.

What does it take, as a footballer or football manager, to have a statue commissioned in your honour?

Many hundreds of goals? Unwavering loyalty to one particular club? Perhaps you're one of a very select few from a particular country, and your homeland wants to adulate you? Or you scored the most famous goal in the history of the Premier League.

Whatever the reason, it's a deep source of pride to be immortalised in stone or marble… usually. And the reason I say 'usually' is because, while statues more often than not turn out exceptionally well, there have been a select few that turned out horribly - yet hilariously - wrong.

Planet Sport brings you some of the soaring highlights and desperate lowlights from the world of football statues.

Good: Sir Bobby Moore

Sir Bobby Moore statue Wembley Mar17

As England's only World Cup-winning captain, it's fitting that Moore takes pride of place outside the national stadium. Fans see this one on their approach down Wembley Way, as he looks back at them from a height of 20 feet (6.1 metres).

It was unveiled at the opening of the new Wembley Stadium in 2007, becoming one of two iconic additions to the new cathedral of English football alongside its now-ubiquitous arch. With his foot on the ball, this statue commands just as much respect as the real life Sir Bobby did.

Bad: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo statue Aug17

Ronaldo might be revered the world over, having scored more than 700 career goals, but this sculptor must be more of a Messi fan.

Located outside the airport of the striker's home island of Madeira, this bronze bust struggles to provoke any reaction other than giggles.

Quite apart from the Adam's apple being cut so sharply that it resembles the tip of a pencil, the rest of this one doesn't even look like a normal human, let alone Ronaldo.

Good: Henrik Larsson

Sweden did one of their best proud with this effort, which is located right on the beach in the striker's birthplace of Helsingborg. Larsson scored 51 goals in 61 games for the city's club, and also spent time as their manager after retiring.

Here, he looks out over the waters of the Kattegat between Sweden and Denmark. The statue can often be found with green and white Celtic scarves draped around its neck as Bhoys fans go on a pilgrimage to the home of one of their favourite adopted sons.

Bad: Michael Essien

I can't see there being many pilgrimages to this one, though, and not because the sculptor already put him in a kit. This life-size "tribute" to Ghanaian midfielder Essien will almost certainly give you nightmares, for which I can only apologise.

Absolutely everything about this just makes you want to run as far away from it as you can possibly get. The features are too sharp, the whole thing is contorted into a position that is definitely not natural…and don't get me started on what's going on with his right hand.

Perhaps this particular piece was funded by Samsung. That would certainly explain how the sculptor managed to get the telecoms giant's logo spot on, while at the same time butchering absolutely everything else.

Good: Dennis Bergkamp

Dennis Bergkamp statue Arsenal Feb14

It's slightly ironic that the man who Arsenal fans lovingly christened the 'Non-Flying Dutchman' due to his aerophobia should be made into a statue depicting him in mid-air.

Yet, if you argue that the Essien effort is in an unnatural position, you could possibly make the same point for this one, were it not for Bergkamp's brilliance making this an entirely believable shape.

He may never have played a competitive match for the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, but he certainly now has a long-term home there.

Bad: Mo Salah

Seriously, anyone else see Gollum? Hair that looks absolutely nothing like Salah's style, eyes that look like he's about to hiss "My precious!" at you, and a body that definitely doesn't fit the head shape.

It's at the World Youth Forum in Sharm-el-Sheikh in the forward's home country of Egypt, but if it's designed to inspire the youth of tomorrow, it's not having the desired effect.

Best player in the world at the moment? Strong case. Best statue in the world? Absolutely, definitely, one hundred percent not.

Good: Old Trafford Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity Old Trafford May08

Now this is how you do statues. Three of Manchester United's all-time greats, in George Best, Denis Law, and Sir Bobby Charlton, are immortalised outside the Theatre of Dreams, in wonderfully simplistic form.

Bergkamp might be leaping in the air, which is great in its own right, but these three simply have their arms around one another, summing up the team above anything else.

The monument to the trio is now so iconic, Lego have taken the decision to include it in their version of Old Trafford stadium. It's a classic.

Bad: Andres Iniesta

I'd really love to know who watched the iconic moment of Andres Iniesta firing beyond Maarten Stekelenburg in Johannesburg to win Spain the 2010 World Cup, and thought 'I know what that needs - added testicles!'

Yes, for some reason, this sculptor elected to recreate that point in time, but strip Iniesta of all his kit - including, it appears, his underpants too. Well, he did have excellent ball distribution.

If you really want to see it (if you're sure), head to the Spanish city of Albacete.

Good: Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero statue designed by sculptor Andy Scott outside the Etihad Stadium

Ten years on from Aguero's famous title-winning goal in 2012, Manchester City unveiled a statue to the club's goal-scoring legend in May 2022.

Award-winning sculptor Andy Scott has already created statues honouring Manchester City legends Vincent Kompany and David Silva, so he is on familiar ground with this one.

'Truthfully, it is a very beautiful thing for me, to see myself 10 years ago is very moving,' said Aguero.

Whether Scott should start work on a Denis Law's back-heeled goal statue for the city centre is a matter for debate.

READ MORE: Which 20 clubs would make up the strongest possible Premier League - does your team make the cut?

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