Manchester United’s short stay in Dubai over this past weekend took an unexpected and brilliant turn on Monday when the squad were met at their base in Sports City by legend Diego Maradona. You can scroll through all the images above.

The Argentine spends much of his time here in the Emirate as a result of his previous role of manager with Al Wasl, from which he was sacked in 2012.

David Moyes’ Premier League defending champions, meanwhile, are undertaking some warm weather training as they bid to get their season back on track.

They arrived in Dubai on Thursday, complete with star names Robin van Persie, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata, and have been seen enjoying some of the hottest nightspots in town. After partying at RedFest DXB in Dubai Media City on Friday, some headed for the official afterparty at Supperclub, Zabeel Saray, while others were spotted in VIP Room at JW Marriot Marquis in Business Bay.

But despite getting down to some serious training, the likes of RVP, Mata, Ferdinand, Ashley Young, Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernandez, Alex Buttner and Adnan Januzaj did take a minute to pose with the legendary Diego.

On Sunday, some other players, including the manager David Moyes, the captain Nemanja Vidic and legend Ryan Giggs took on the Dubai Creek & Golf Club course.

Three other football clubs are also in the region having been given the weekend off due to their elimination from the FA Cup. Joining Moyes’ side are fellow top-flight teams Stoke City, West Ham and United’s next opponents on Saturday January 22, Crystal Palace.

Last year, Queens Park Rangers visited Dubai in late February in a bid to reverse the fortunes of a stuttering league campaign, but returned home to sensational headlines suggesting the training trip had descended into a ‘stag party’ at the Royal Meridien Hotel. They were relegated in May.