Spartak Moscow defender Dmitri Kombarov threw all conventional logic out of the window in renting a lion for his five-year-old daughter.
Admittedly it was only a cub and Kombarov's daughter Ulyana was able to pose for snaps on social media playing happily with the little big cat.
Kombarov said on Instagram: "My beloved daughter, today is your fifth anniversary. Your mother
and I love you more than life."
The renting of big cats has become a status symbol for the Russian elite, with the going rate to hire them for parties is about 10,000 RUB (£139) for an hour.
But Kombarov's gesture has drawn criticism on social media with people suggesting that the cub looked like it had been drugged.
Animal rights activists are opposed to the practice.