Robin van Persie meets Diego Maradona

Surprise, surprise: Arsenal captain Van Persie pays Maradona an unexpected visit

Robin van Persie fulfilled a life-long ambition on Saturday after meeting Diego Maradona.

The Arsenal captain, who describes Maradona as his 'hero', surprised the Al Wasl manager during his holiday in Dubai.

Van Persie, posed for pictures with his family before enjoying a kickabout with the 51-year-old.

You've got to hand it to him: Van Persie meets Diego Maradona

You've got to hand it to him: Van Persie meets Diego Maradona

Family matters: Van Persie poses with Maradona, his wife Bouchra, and two children

Family matters: Van Persie poses with Maradona, his wife Bouchra, and two children

'I've always admired Maradona since I was a young child,' Van Persie said.

'He is one of the best footballers of all time, and a visit to Dubai would not have been complete without the opportunity to get to meet him face to face.'

Maradona added: 'Van Persie is not only a star player but a footballer with a stellar personality that is something that I hold in high respect.

'His great talent, combined with his humble character, make him a model for all great players to live by.'

Van Persie is expected to be rested for Arsenal's FA Cup clash against Leeds on Monday night with Thierry Henry set for his second Arsenal debut.