The sculptor behind the Cristiano Ronaldo bust that sparked worldwide ridicule has defended his work, claiming that not even Jesus could please everyone.

Emanuel Santos worked as a cleaner at the Aeroporto da Madeira until he was fired from the post in January of this year.

However, whilst in the role, he learned that the airport was due to be renamed in honour of Ronaldo after the star led Portugal to become kings of Europe in the 2016 Euros.

The 40-year-old then used his newfound time to pursue his passion of sculpting and made Ronaldo his first subject, spending three weeks on the project.

When complete, Santos showed his former bosses the completed bust. They approved of his work and decided to make it part of the official renaming of the airport on Wednesday (29 March).

However, after scores of people mocked and critiqued the work at the official unveiling, Santos stood by his efforts.

"It is impossible to please the Greeks and Trojans. Neither did Jesus please everyone," he told Brazilian outlet Globo.

"This is a matter of taste and not as simple as it seems. I have seen works by great artists that follow this trend.

"What matters is the impact that this work generated."

Ronaldo, known for his model-like good looks, was among those at the unveiling and maintained a straight face although some questioned the bust's likeness to the football icon.

Santos and Ronaldo also reportedly had a photo taken together at the event and the football star is said to have told the sculptor he approved of his work.

"Cristiano was one of the last people to arrive, but I spoke with him in the VIP room," Santos told a Reuters reporter after the unveiling. "I asked him what he thought of the result and he said he liked it."