A NEW statue of George Best has attracted ridicule over its poor resemblance to the late Manchester United and Northern Ireland legend.
The life-size bronze sculpture was unveiled outside Windsor Park in Belfast yesterday by former teammates Pat Jennings and Gerry Armstrong on what would have been Best's 73rd birthday.
The 1968 European Cup and Ballon d'Or winner – who passed away in 2005 aged 59 – made over 350 appearances and scored more than 100 goals for the Red Devils, and is regarded by many as one of the finest footballers to have graced the beautiful game.
Maradona good, Pelé better, George Best💪
Best’s sister Barbara McNarry & former NI team-mate Pat Jennings revealed the tribute on what would have been his 73rd birthday pic.twitter.com/cMfRbaQAsD
— BBC SPORT NI (@BBCSPORTNI) 22 May 2019
However, the new statue, created by Belfast sculptor Tony Currie from the art group Lecale Bronze, hasn't quite been received so warmly.
Hundreds of social media users reacted with astonishment to the tribute's lack of resemblance to the Belfast boy, with its likeness being compared to everyone from the current US President to Pat Jennings himself.
One tweeted: "Nice to see a statue depicting what George Best might look like if he rose from the dead to haunt your nightmares".
Nice to see a statue depicting what George Best might look like if he rose from the dead to haunt your nightmares... pic.twitter.com/NIT36O2eS6
— Gav Roberts (@Gav246) 22 May 2019
Another wrote: "That new George Best statue looks absolutely shocking, like a love child of Roger Moore and Skeletor, unbelievable".
That new George Best statue looks absolutely shocking, like a love child of Roger Moore and Skeletor, unbelievable
— Patrick (@pmag21) 22 May 2019
A third user added: "Absolutely horrific and a disgrace for us George Best fans. It looks like a dreadlocked Donald Trump on heroin heading till Belfast Majistrates! #brutal #removalrequired".
— Jonny Blair (@jonnyblair) 22 May 2019
Others compared the statue to the infamous sculptures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah unveiled in recent years.
That might be a tad harsh though, looking back on the absolute state of them:
So much greatness in these two statues?
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) 18 November 2018
One user wrote: "Did they use the same guy who done the Ronaldo statue?"
Another joked: "F*** me looks like a villain from a Marvel movie."
While yet another simply stated: "That's the worst statue I've ever seen."
Did they use the same guy who done the Ronaldo statue?
— A90 (@ARathcoole) 22 May 2019
Spot on again! pic.twitter.com/CTuukBR6h7
— Maguire Comedy Moments (@MaguireMoments) 22 May 2019
Is the new George Best statue at Olympia, modelled on 70s TV character, Benny from Crossroads? pic.twitter.com/0Jn3ttIlIx
— Brian Smyth (@Briansmyth99) 22 May 2019
They’d have been better stealing the Mr. Tumnus statue from round Lewis square and pretending that was George Best. Looks more like him than that shambles up at the national stadium pic.twitter.com/l58fpylrpU
— . (@Ballybeen72) 22 May 2019
I don’t know what the fuss is about, this new George Best statue looks great pic.twitter.com/3FTmqVjtXU
— Dli O'Doir (@dli_odoir) 22 May 2019
The new statue of George Best looks like a Walking Dead Pat Jennings pic.twitter.com/uxyL3w7gRl
— Mallow News (@MallowNews) 22 May 2019