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Mata models retro United kit

Toe Poke
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 By Chris Wright

Cristiano Ronaldo effigy among those torched at Valencia firework festival

Around this time every year, the good people of Valencia take to the streets to burn effigies of various famous rogues and scoundrels as part of their week-long fire festival, Las Fallas.

The papier mache figures are known colloquially as "ninots" and this year Cristiano Ronaldo was one of the stars to have his likeness set alight.

Indeed, Sunday saw one particularly unflattering likeness of the Real Madrid man -- an imaginative depiction complete with Ballon d'Ors -- offered up in homage to Saint Joseph, patron saint of carpenters.

Not the greatest likeness, but you get the general idea. This was one of several Ronaldo effigies made and burned at several sites by different groups, but his arch rival Lionel Messi was not spared the "ninot" treatment either.

This isn't the first time footballing figures have been spotted at Las Fallas - the annual staged every year on March 19 as a symbolic cleansing rite marking the arrival of spring that since last December is part of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Last year's festival included an effigy of Gary Neville amid the bonfire after his disastrous spell as Valencia coach.

Chris covers the funny side of the game for ESPN FC in the Toe Poke blog.

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