Diego Maradona arrived in Tokyo on Friday to attend the World Cup final after Japan made an exception for him despite his history of drug abuse.
The chubby 1986 World Cup winner, wearing a grey T-shirt and beige windbreaker and a earring in each ear, smiled and signed autographs before being driven away in a limousine.
The 41-year-old been undergoing drug rehabilitation treatment in Cuba and had been expected to arrive earlier, before pre-tournament favourites Argentina were knocked out in the first round.
"You are my god," said one fan, waving an Argentine flag.
The Japanese government decided to allow Maradona into the country because of his legendary status in football and the infrequency of the World Cup, played only every four years.
Maradona is expected to watch the final between Brazil and Germany in Yokohama, near Tokyo, on Sunday.
Last week Maradona got the most votes in FIFA's Internet poll of fans to choose a World Cup dream team, and his second goal against England in their 1986 quarter-final was voted FIFA goal of the century.