Before Sunday's crunch J League fixture, the match ball was delivered to referee Hiromu Kimura by a macaque dressed head to toe (or knee) in the brightly coloured Osaka kit.
Donning his pink shirt proudly, the critter struggled at first to show off some silky skills, before calmly picking up the size five ball and handing it over to Kimura – who promptly posed for a photo with his new primate pal.
Osaka's hero of the moment was duly applauded and cheered as he left the field to an appreciative ovation.
おさるさんがキックイン審判にしっかりとボールを渡すことができましたその他の動画はこちらNovember 27, 2017
Once the pre-game frivolities had ended, Cerezo Osaka went on to beat Vissel Kobe 3-1.
A lucky omen, perhaps? We're not too sure the folks at PETA would necessarily agree, mind...
Words: Barney Lane
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