• 2018.10.03
  • Cristiano Ronaldo Airport
The FIFA World Cup was held this year.
Japan’s team, commonly called Samurai Japan, gave a promising performance and brought cheer to the people of Japan. It seemed they might win the match against Belgium, but in the end they did not, which was very regretful. All the same, the players that were worthy of their name, Samurai, were able to show the world their strong spirit. Many non-Japanese people expressed their respect for Japan to me, and I felt somehow proud despite the loss of the match.

The Portugal team was defeated soon after making the tournament stage. In the group matches, Cristiano Ronaldo scored many goals and seemed to be doing great, so I expected they would win, but I suppose they were not strong enough as a team. Every pass during the match was to Ronaldo. The one making shots was also Ronaldo. Marking by the other team was all focused on Ronaldo. Rather than ‘team,’ it might be better to call them a group made up of Cristiano Ronaldo and ten other people.

His achievements in the world of soccer are so amazing that I need not even mention them here. He is a five-time winner of the Ballon d'Or sent to the most valuable player of the year in Europe, has received numerous honors, and he continues even now to make new records including scores.
He is almost certainly the most influential sports player in the world and the most well-known Portuguese person.

He owns his own fashion brand called CR7 and has his own hotels. There is even a museum dedicated to him that is a tourist spot in Portugal.
Even more remarkable is that the airport in Funchal on the archipelago of Madeira that is Ronaldo’s hometown was renamed the Madeira International Airport Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017.

This airport in Madeira was pretty well-known even before it took on Ronaldo’s name. This is because it is one of the most dangerous airports in the world.
It was built on a section of land with mountains on the one side and the ocean on the other. Just landing on the narrow runway takes some skill, and then there is the strong wind that blows aircrafts violently to the left and right.
The experience for passengers is something along the lines of getting ready for landing, approaching the runway, giving up and rising into the sky again, trying a second time, then finally touching down on the third try.
Landing is unproblematic when it is not windy, but in stormy weather the plane has to circle around in the air for several hours waiting for the moment the wind subsides, and some flights have to return to their departure location and give up trying to land again. At the beginning of this year, 20 scheduled flights were affected, with several flights being stuck in the air for three and a half hours, one requiring refueling, and six being canceled.
In the year 2000, construction work was carried out to extend the runway with support from 180 seventy-meter-high beams on the ocean side, but I am not sure the problem was remedied. Perhaps not, but the airport did receive an Outstanding Structure Award for this construction, which is given to engineering works that employ outstanding technology. In Popular Mechanics, an American magazine about technology, this airport was selected as one of the world’s 18 strangest airports.
As far as attracting attention goes, Cristiano Ronaldo’s name may be well-suited to this airport.


  • Megumi Ota
  • JobConservator, interpreter, and coordinator / Insitu (restoration), Kaminari-sama / Novajika, and others

I’m a conservator and preservationist living in Portugal. I specialize primarily in paintings (murals) and gold leaf design, and am involved with UNESCO World Heritage structures as well as the interior of the Palace of Belém. I derive great satisfaction from having close ties to my community in the rural village near the Silver Coast where I live. My hobby is gardening.

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