Lionel Messi has posed with goats for a photoshoot with Paper magazine.
The shoot is a nod towards the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year’s common label as the GOAT of football, or Greatest Of All Time.
Paper thus took this theme and ran with it, with the Argentinian seen with a series of goats, ranging from a large horned animal with his boots around its neck to a small kid that he held in his arms.
Paper magazine writes that Messi acclimatised quickly to the animals, “warmly” approaching them, “laughing and playing with one of the babies”.
“I am a big fan of animals,” the Barcelona forward said in the interview. “I grew up with them and they have taught me many things.
“Now we have our dog Hulk who really is part of the family, we always include him. Our children learn so much from Hulk.”
The magazine said the photoshoot, taken by Carles Carabi, was created at a farm and educational centre in Barcelona, La Granja Natura, with staff and vets on hand to ensure no harm was caused to them.
Messi began his preparations for the World Cup in Russia with a hat-trick against Haiti in Argentina’s warm-up game last week, before the team headed to Barcelona for a training camp.
Argentina’s final warm-up match is against Israel on Saturday.