Barcelona have deleted a social media post about Lionel Messi’s homage to Diego Maradona after receiving a backlash from fans accusing the club of ‘using death as promo.’
Messi netted Barca’s fourth goal in their 4-0 win against Osasuna on Sunday afternoon, just days after Maradona’s tragic passing.
READ MORE: Female footballer ‘receives death threats’ after labeling Maradona ‘rapist’ and refusing to take part in tribute to late icon
After scoring the goal, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner removed his Barca shirt unveiling a Newell’s Old Boys kit underneath, a club both Messi and Maradona have represented.
He also pointed to the sky, paying respect to the Argentinian football icon whose sudden death at the age of 60 shocked the entire world.
Messi’s tribute to Maradona went viral with Barcelona sharing a picture of the emotional moment on their social media platforms.
One day later, the club boasted that the post had smashed all records, causing uproar with followers accusing the Spanish giants of ‘turning Maradona’s death into a PR move.‘
That’s what it’s all about! Stay classy @FCBarcelonapic.twitter.com/IjTUmCP50v
“In just one day on the Club’s official Instagram account there were close to 20 million interactions with content published within a 24 hour timeframe. On Twitter the reach was similar with more than 44 million impressions from the Club’s global account,” an article on Barcelona’s website read.
The club’s page was flooded with angry reactions with many followers asking Barcelona to delete the ‘shameful’ tweet.
“Congrats, you are basically using his death as promo at this point,” one user wrote.
“It’s so disrespectful talking about records of his celebration and not the importance,” another person said.
“Jesus Christ, only Barcelona can turn a death into PR move,” one more comment read.
Being a Barcelona fan is getting more embarrassing everyday… https://t.co/QXWVXKRKW5pic.twitter.com/8A5evH07JC
“Being a Barcelona fan is getting more embarrassing everyday...” a fan added.
The club later deleted the post that caused so much controversy among its followers.