Ronald McDonald led Manchester United out in a pre-season game...
For top teams, pre-season tours are now just cross-continental marketing campaigns. No longer are clubs content with hopping on a MegaBus Gold to thrash some UK small-timers – now they're tasked with slinging shirts and branded bed covers across Asia and North America.
It's basically a chance for moneymaking photo ops and a bit of a kick-around, if time allows.
That being said, Manchester United and Real Madrid have just taken the exercise to an embarrassing new low.
Yep, that's Ronald McDonald, leading the clubs out at the Levi's stadium in Santa Clara, California. Here he is shaking the players' hands. They look mortified, obviously.
Needless to say, Twitter had a few things to say about the guest appearance:
Watching the players shake hands with Ronald McDonald. So many potential jokes, only 140 characters. But, fuck me, football's in a bad way.— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) July 23, 2017
If you've ever lost hope in life, just know that Ronald McDonald got to shake hands with some of the best players in the world... pic.twitter.com/6P5nLerpW8— JustRedDevils (@JustRedDevils) July 23, 2017
The match ended 1-1, FYI – fitting, when you consider that there are no winners in this situation.