SOCCER star Ruud Van Nistelrooy controversially visited a Spanish children’s hospital ‘blacked up’ as a Middle Eastern king.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid player dressed up as King Balthazar for the traditional ‘reyes’ parade through Marbella.
The Dutchman, who now lives in Marbella, later visited a children’s hospital in the get up.
Wearing black face paint and a leopard print robe, Nistelrooy caused a stir with some fans branding him racist for the ill-advised stunt.
One fan told the Daily Mail: “He clearly though he was doing a good deed but he just didn’t think it through.”
However most locals loved his appearance, which was never intended to cause offence.
He was recently quoted as saying how much he loved the ‘quiet life’ in Spain and how well he had been accepted by the community