Tokyo: Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo came face to face with a scantily clad life-size double on Wednesday when Japanese scientists unveiled a "cyber clone" of the Portuguese pin-up.
The 30-year-old, who was in Tokyo to promote an electric muscle stimulator for sculpting a washboard stomach, gave the thumbs-up to the doppelganger with moving facial features, created after a 3D scan of his body using 110 micro cameras. "It's perfect," smiled Ronaldo as he checked out the clone with fluttering eyelids and roving eyes.
Cristiano Ronaldo. Pic/ AFP
"I love it." The silicon dummy, made with the help of a Hollywood studio, was naked but for a black pair of Ronaldo's own brand of underwear and the pulsing "Six-Pad" device attached to its torso. "I have to say he looks just like me," added Ronaldo.
"I would be a liar if I said it doesn't." Ronaldo, the reigning world footballer of the year, has legions of fans who swoon over his chiselled looks and muscular physique, which he regularly shows off by removing his shirt to celebrate goals. There was a similar reaction when Ronaldo was wheeled out for Japanese television as studio guests giddily prodded and poked his stomach. A detailed graphic also revealed his "eight-pack" -- not the standard six that gym-goers aspire to.
Celebrities on Fuji TV's "Viking" show cooed "Oh, your face is so small" -- a traditional Japanese compliment for good-looking foreigners -- as Ronaldo appeared in jeans, a tight T-shirt and diamond ear studs. Ronaldo, who earns an estimated $43 million a year in salary and endorsements, laughed when the male presenter asked about reports the player does 3,000 sit-ups daily.
"No, that's not true," he said. "I hit the gym after training every day, sure. But I do about 300 sit-ups a day." Asked to show off his belly, Ronaldo duly obliged to approving gasps, while studio guests lifted their own shirts to reveal flabby tummies, one wag shouting "I've got a one-pack!" to Ronaldo's amusement.
Ronaldo visited Japan last year to push a face-stretching gadget designed to enhance the user's smile, although he refused to put it in his mouth as intended, perhaps fearful of a backlash on social media. Japan is a common destination for European or American stars who are paid big money to sell products that never see the light of day back home. Many insist on confidentiality clauses, preventing commercials from being shown in their home countries, although the spread of the Internet has now complicated the process.