The footballing community was brought into the dark world of conflict on Friday afternoon when Real Madrid confirmed that 16 of their fans had been brutally murdered in Iraq.
It is reported that three gunmen, acting on behalf of ISIS, entered a Real Madrid supporter's club at the Al Furat cafe in Balad, near Baghdad, and ruthlessly killed 16 fans and injured 20 others.
Gruesome pictures of the aftermath soon emerged on the Internet, showing pools of blood where fans once gathered to talk about their love for Los Blancos.
A statement from Real Madrid read: “Real Madrid profoundly laments the terrible attack today in Iraq which has ended the life of 16 members of a Madrid fan club and that injured more than 20.
“The club expresses its total sadness and offers its thoughts and condolences to the families and friends of the victims. Real Madrid extends its solidarity to the people of Iraq, that suffers the injustice of extremist violence."
Show of respect
As a show of respect, Real Madrid asked Deportivo and their fans to hold a one-minute silence prior to their La Liga finale on Saturday afternoon, which was impeccably observed by all present in the Riazor.
Real Madrid fans also wore black armbands during the 2-0 victory in which Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice.
La Liga president Javier Tebas later tweeted: "Shocked by the attack against a Real Madrid supporters club in Iraq. Terrorism attacking football. We are with the victims and their families.
"Football is a target for terror. We were going to travel to Iraq this month, but it was postponed for security reasons. We will return to support the Iraqi people."
WARNING: Graphic Content
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms