A photo of Andres Iniesta posing with two people in blackface has sparked controversy on social media with the former Barcelona midfielder caught right in the middle.
Taken as part of celebrations for Three Kings Day in Spain, the image posted to Iniesta's social media channels clearly shows two people in blackface as they attempted to dress up as a king that is traditionally black.
It's not the first time a footballer has been caught up in a blackface scandal with Antoine Griezmann forced to apology for a similiar incident in December 2017.
"I admit it's awkward from me," the Atletico Madrid and France forward wrote. "If I did hurt anybody, then I apologise."
Unlike Griezmann's controversy last season, Iniesta was not the person whose face was painted black in the picture, and he's yet to respond to social media criticism to Sunday's tweet.
— Andrés Iniesta (@andresiniesta8) January 6, 2019
Iniesta, who currently plays club football in Japan for Vissel Kobe, has been criticised for the photo which has quickly sparked outrage and some shocked reactions from fans.
— Musa Okwonga (@Okwonga) January 6, 2019
Iniesta taking pictures with people in blackface pic.twitter.com/sWzth0a2BU— Zito (@_Zeets) January 6, 2019
— Nick Bright (@NickBrightDJ) January 6, 2019
— ً (@BabyKeith8) January 6, 2019
— Sam (@Fadewade) January 6, 2019
— E-Crystal Palace (@e_crystalpalace) January 6, 2019
While 2019 has started off in questionable fashion for Iniesta, 2018 was a big one for the 2010 World Cup winner as he departed Barcelona for the first time and moved to the J-League.
Iniesta scored three times and picked up three assists across his 14 appearances for Kobe, who finished the season in sixth.
The Spanish midfielder recently revealed his desire to be a coach one day, but quickly distanced himself from the potential of coaching Barcelona anytime soon.
Iniesta's former club celebrated a winning Getafe at the weekend while arch-rivals Real Madrid succumbed to another defeat that sees them 10 points off the pace in La Liga's title race.