INSTAGRAM are reportedly “investigating” what happened to Lionel Messi’s account after it mysteriously disappeared for an hour.
Sport website in Spain say the Barcelona superstar’s profile went empty at around midnight UK time last night.
Messi, 32, is the eighth most-followed person in the world on the photo-sharing website with some 152 million followers.
But a screenshot purporting to show his profile did not feature any of his 590 posts.
It also did not show him having any followers or following anyone and had the message “user not found” at the top of the page.
Speculation was rife on social media as to what actually happened – with no explanation immediately forthcoming.
One Messi fan wrote on Twitter: “What the damn hell!! Leo Messi’s Instagram page has been removed?! Looks like Instagram has lost their mind.”
Another posted a photo of the Argentina star’s blank account with the message: “When Messi realised that Instagram is only for humans.”
A fellow user posted: “Lionel Messi, our beloved GOAT has deleted his Instagram account. I don’t know why but I don’t like it.”
Another comment read: “Messi’s Instagram page is currently unavailable y’all… What’s happening? Deactivated?”
The account was up and running again as normal at the time of writing, with all of his followers restored.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Barcelona bosses once feared for Messi’s future with Ronaldinho still at the club.
The Daily Mail wrote a report that said then boss Frank Rijkaard sometimes allowed the Brazilian to indulge himself and perhaps sometimes not push himself as hard as he could in training.
It is claimed further issues reportedly came “in the latter stages of their Barca careers, when Ronaldinho spent many of his evening at the bars of Castelldefels, the elegant beachside suburb south of Barcelona” and when his conditioning was “not what it might have been”.
The report adds how local papers picked up on Ronaldinho’s shape.
One, La Vanguardia, published a photo of the Samba star coming off the pitch with his “beer gut hanging over his waist”.
It was at this time that there was allegedly “a fear that Messi, who also lived in Castelldefels, was falling under the influence” of Ronaldinho – who recently opened up on spending a month behind bars.