During his astounding career and frenetic life, Diego Maradona has been called many things, quite a few of them printable. But the word "diplomatic" has rarely, if ever, figured in discussions of the celebrated Argentine footballer.
So the idea that he has suddenly become an "honorary ambassador of sport" is downright startling.
Maradona was named to that post on Sunday by the Dubai Sports Council, in a striking comeback for the man sacked in July as coach of Al Wasl, after leading the Dubai club to an eighth-place finish. One of the season's highlights, if that's the word, was Maradona clambering into the stands to seek vengeance against fans he thought had sworn at his wife. In this case, "ambassador" means "marketing draw" and Maradona will surely excel at that. For all the vicissitudes of his private life, he remains a household name whose feats on the pitch are etched in the minds of many.
"I want to change my lifestyle," the football immortal said of his new job. "I want to wear a suit and go to meetings." That sound you heard was a collective groan from all those who do dress formally and go to meetings, and who would much rather coach a football club.
Say what you want about Maradona, but he has surprised us again.