But on Friday, quietly and without ceremony, that bust was replaced at the request of Ronaldo's family.
Ronaldo was born on the autonomous Portuguese territory, before moving to Lisbon to join Sporting aged 12.
Local artist Emanuel Santos came to the defence of his creation, which took three weeks to make, claiming that it was "a matter of taste".
Ronaldo's new statue on the right and old one on the right.More news: 'Gaming Disorder' classified as a mental health health disorder
The previous statue was mocked on social media after it was unveiled at the airport a year ago, with many questioning its resemblance to the footballer.
The petition, on peticaopublica.com, is titled "Petition for the immediate return of Cristiano Ronaldo's bust to Madeira airport" and calls the original bust "an attraction for our island" and said its substitute was unacceptable.
The petition has already been signed by over 300 people.
Santos later had a second attempt to silence his critics with a second sculpture of Ronaldo, commissioned by the website Bleacher Report.
Score a hat trick in the World Cup? Visit our Facebook page where you can send us a message or leave us a comment.