Lionel Messi, who might be the GOAT, poses with actual goats for magazine story

(Image via PAPER Magazine)

Lionel Messi’s cover shoot for the most recent issue of PAPER Magazine is eye-catching, to say the least.

The Argentine superstar appeared with a real live goat, apropos considering a healthy portion of the soccer population believes he’s the actual GOAT, aka greatest of all time.

The accompanying story includes a couple of interesting tidbits, like background on Messi’s decision to attend Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy as a child. He didn’t turn his back on his native Argentina, as the narrative is unfortunately too often played up. Messi suffered from a growth hormone deficiency, and no Argentinian team he and his family visited would cover the cost of $1,000 a month to deal with the medical issue. So that more or less forced Messi to look toward Europe, and Barcelona had expressed interest in his talents and agreed to foot the bill.

Lionel Messi is on the cover of PAPER’s sports issue. (Courtesy: PAPER)

The cover shoot itself has a couple things at work. For one, Messi poses with a whole slew of goats in one of the photos.

(PAPER Magazine)

For another, the font, tones and overall style of the story are very much in line with the ad campaign for the 2017 comic book film Logan, and the beard Messi has chosen to rock the past three years is a bit rough, a bit bushy, and very much in line with Wolverine’s beard from the decade-old comics arc “Old Man Logan.”

(Marvel Comics/Getty/Yahoo Sports)

Messi supporters and soccer fans in general can check out the entire story at the link above. Silly comic book inferences aside.

Joey Gulino is the editor of FC Yahoo and moonlights as a writer. Follow him on Twitter at @JGulinoYahoo.

World Cup coverage from Yahoo Sports:
2018 World Cup preview hub
Top 25 players who aren’t going to Russia
Group previews: A | B | C | D | E
9 surprises as all 32 World Cup squads are confirmed
Schaerlaeckens: This is Putin’s World Cup, with FIFA’s permission