Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is facing accusations of racism after posting a snap of himself posing alongside fellow footballer Jose Semedo, describing the close friends as "black and white chocolate".
The father-of-three shared the image, which shows the duo topless and standing in waist-deep in a pool on his Instagram on Monday (3 July) with the caption: "Perfect Mach (sic) Black And White chocolate."
Although the sportsman's picture with the ex- Sheffield midfielder quickly garnered millions of likes, some of his 105m followers suggested that it had racist undertones.
"'You're racist", one fan wrote in response to Ronaldo's post, while another took the sarcasm route writing:" Chocolate wow you smart brother."
A third added: "Black and White ? You're not white tho."
With the controversial caption prompting a barrage of criticism in the comment section, some fans came to the striker's defence, saying there was nothing offensive about his choice of words.
Ronaldo and Semedo first met as youngsters while part of the academy system at Sporting in Lisbon. The Portuguese natives regularly holiday together and Semedo was even on hand to help Ronaldo celebrate Real Madrid's Champions League victory in May.
Back in January, Semedo opened up about his friendship with Ronaldo, saying they were like brothers. He told Sportsmail: "We've grown up together. He doesn't think he would ever have reached the level he has, but believes it's down to our mentality not to give up on anything."
Meanwhile, Ronaldo, aged 32, who is currently enjoying a well-earned break after another successful season, which also saw him help Real Madrid land their first La Liga title in five years, appears to be settling into life as the father of twins.
The football ace, who is dating Spanish girlfriend and model Georgina Rodríguez, shared the first photograph of his newborns on 30 June, days after it was revealed that they had been born via surrogate in the States.
"So happy to be able to hold the two new loves of my life," Ronaldo captioned the image of him holding his son and daughter in his arms. He is already father to Cristiano Ronaldo Junior, who was born to a surrogate in June 2010.