At 5.30 a.m. BST, accompanied by a video of Messi scoring for Barcelona against Real Madrid, a post on Real’s Twitter said: “Benvingut Messi! B!Bienvenido Messi! Welcome Messi! Bienvenue Messi! £Messi.”
The group, which has hacked a series of high-profile accounts over the past 12 months, then followed it up with a series of tweets claiming responsibility for the hacking, saying: “Internet security is s— and we proved that.”
The post went viral, with over 27,000 retweets in the first 45 minutes of it being up.
The tweets remained public for around 90 minutes before they disappeared from Real’s Spanish and English language feeds.