World of Sport

Barcelona apparently leak huge transfer news by cutting Thiago Alcantara out of official photograph

World of Sport

It's just under six months since Barcelona launched their official Instagram page - and now, for the first time, the decision to share more pictures with fans has backfired.

Barca have used their page for the usual nonsense, sharing pictures of players, triumphant photos after the Liga title was claimed, some nice historic images of club legends, and lots and lots and lots of pictures of Neymar.

They also used it to share pictures of the team's new season strip for 2013-14 a few days ago. And it's one of those pictures that's come back to haunt them.

This is the picture they shared to show off their finest players modelling the new home and away kits:

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Barcelona's original new kit Instagram picture

Just a day later, the picture was quietly deleted and replaced with a slightly different version:

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The updated Instagram picture

It wouldn't take the eyes of a hawk (if you're over 30 we urge you to follow that link, incidentally) to spot that the picture of Thiago Alcantara, Gerard Pique, Lionel Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and Carles Puyol had become merely a picture of the latter five.

Officially, Thiago is still a Barcelona player and the club are still fighting to save him. Unofficially, it seems, they've obviously told everyone at the club - and particularly their marketing bods - that he is already as good as a Manchester United player.

Still, hard to blame Barcelona. Their Stalinist airbrushing of history might have been a bit clumsy and obvious, but what choice did they have? Either they made the change when they did, or they faced even more trouble down the line from disgruntled fans as other clubs have for similar blunders.

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