CRISTIANO RONALDO has removed his controversial rooftop gazebo on the orders of Lisbon City Council.
The 36-year-old returning Old Trafford hero admitted defeat after being given just over a fortnight to demolish the “eyesore” glass structure at his £6.5 million Portuguese penthouse.
The Lisbon apartment block’s design architect had pledged to take the football star to court unless he removes it.
Jose Mateus accused Ronaldo of “scoring an own goal” and “dishonouring his work” in an astonishing attack on the former Juventus forward as planning chiefs announced an investigation in May soon after the existence of the gazebo was revealed.
The dad-of-four was informed on July 21 he had two options – consisting of removing the gazebo or altering it in a bid to legalise the add-on.
He is understood to have been given an August 11 deadline to knock it down after he failed to submit new plans to modify the existing structure.
Ronaldo’s elder sister Elma Aveiro waded into the planning controversy at one point by branding Mateus “mentally retarded” in an astonishing defence of her footballer brother.
His other sister, former singer Katia Aveiro who is now based in Brazil, raged: “Do us Portuguese deserve you?"
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As she flagged up Cristiano’s donation last year to help fund more beds at a Lisbon hospital intensive care unit.
There has not yet been any official comment from Ronaldo or his representatives.
Photos and video footage showing the last of the gazebo being removed has been published in the Portuguese press.
Lisbon City Hall appeared to confirm in May the gazebo had been built illegally without permission, as planning chiefs announced an investigation and invited submissions from Ronaldo and his advisors justifying what had occurred.
It was not immediately clear in the last few days if the striker would face a fine over his actions.
Last month it was reported the five-times Ballon d’Or winner had asked for more time to restore the rooftop of his Lisbon apartment to the way it had been when he bought it.
A spokesman for Lisbon City Hall said at the time: “We have received a submission from the representative of the owner stating his intention to return the property to its original appearance in line with the project that had been approved.
“More time was asked for so the necessary alterations could be carried out.”
The controversy surrounding the gazebo has featured heavily in Portugal’s leading newspapers.
Speaking after seeing photos of the closed gazebo on the rooftop terrace of Ronaldo’s new 13th-storey home, the most expensive apartment ever sold in Portugal.
Architect Mateus raged: “I was shocked and surprised when I saw what had been built on top of the building.”
Claiming the gazebo could never be legalised because it meant the apartment block now breached maximum height restrictions, Mateus told Portuguese media: “I will fight this all the way.
“There are authors’ rights, and a legal framework and all this has to be respected.
“I don’t think it’s going to be necessary but if this structure isn’t demolished I would obviously go to court over this.”
Lisbon City Hall, appearing to confirm the rooftop structure had been erected without planning consent, confirmed in a statement: “No request or authorisation exists post-2020 asking for alterations to the project designed by the architect Jose Mateus.
“We will be looking into this and making sure the law is adhered to.”
Lisbon mayor Fernando Medina added at the time: “Lisbon City Hall will look into this situation and act accordingly.”
Pictures showed the small glass-fronted structure crowning the top of the city centre building.
Cristiano was identified in January 2020 as the buyer of the penthouse apartment at 203 Castilho Street next to Lisbon’s Eduardo VII Park.
When he purchased it for a reported £6.5million, it was described as the most expensive ever sold in Portugal.
Cristiano was pictured leaving his new home at the end of May with girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez after spending his first night there following the end of the Italian league season.
The 3,000 square foot three-bed apartment has its own gym, pool, sauna and cinema.
Earlier this year it emerged Ronaldo’s interior designers had to call in a crane to get a giant new bed into the master bedroom of the penthouse, ordered as part of a makeover.
The transformation of the property is also said to have included a £300,000 Louis Vuitton mural Ronaldo ordered for the entrance hall.
The gazebo is said to have been erected in place of a pool and a lounge area which appeared on design models before the property was sold.
Mateus, founder of ARX Portugal Arquitectos with his brother Nuno, raged in a Facebook post: “There is culture, there are authors, there are rules.
There is respect for others and for the work of others, there is civility, there are principles I do not accept being trodden on, whoever it is.
“Countless times I was thrilled with the art of CR7, I was thrilled with his extraordinary goals. Today he scored an own goal, one that will be engraved on me forever, in my architecture, and in the form of profound contempt.”
Ronaldo's sisters made their two-pronged assault against Mateus and critics of their brother in a series of social media posts at the end of May.
In one, Elma branded Mateus – who designed the apartment block where Ronaldo purchased the most expensive apartment ever sold in Portugal – a “joke.”
Accusing critics of 'thinking they can tell us what to do in our own homes,' she raged: “Worry about more important and interesting things.
“Mentally retarded, people who don’t know how to live without letting others live.”
The apartment at the centre of the gazebo scandal is expected to be one of four homes Ronaldo and his family will divide their time between when he retires from football.
The other is a new mansion he is having built on a large plot of land in Quinta da Marinha on the so-called Portuguese Riviera, half an hour from Lisbon Airport and ten minutes from the centre of the coastal town of Cascais.
Ronaldo also owns a£4.8 million mansion on a gated fortress estate called La Finca near Madrid.
He showed off the house in a video released in December 2015, treating fans to a tour of his bedroom, living room, dining room and garden and wishing people a Merry Christmas.
The footballer’s property empire also includes a seven-storey apartment block overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the Madeiran capital Funchal which he purchased in 2019.
His mum Dolores and older brother Hugo and his family live at the property.
Ronaldo is understood to have beaten off bids from two other millionaires to snap up his new Lisbon apartment.
The footballer and his family have now reunited at a rented mansion in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, following his record-breaking performance for Portugal against Ireland last week.
He became the top international goalscorer in men’s football history, reaching the milestone of 111 goals in dramatic fashion by giving his nation a late win over Ireland on the Algarve.
Ronaldo, who scored 118 goals in 292 games during his first stint at Old Trafford before leaving in 2009 to join Real Madrid, is due to pull on his reclaimed number seven shirt next Saturday when the Red Devils face Newcastle.
The football idol flew into the UK by private jet last Thursday and headed immediately to a seven-bedroom countryside hideaway where he is self-isolating under coronavirus rules before his second United debut.
He arrived in Manchester 24 hours before his partner posted a series of photos on Instagram of her and their four children travelling by private jet.
The pictures carried a heart emoji above the Manchester location tag.
Georgina also posted a photo of a ‘welcome’ Cadbury’s chocolate bar bearing the Man United logo.
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