G.O.A.T in pop culture means Greatest of all Time, a term which has been used to describe Messi’s legendary status in football.

Ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, PAPER Magazine had Messi on the cover of their latest edition with a herd of goats.

The main cover pictures Messi in a dark blue Adidas merchandise holding a goat. ‘Leo Messi G.O.A.T’ the cover is captioned.

In another photo, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is seen in an Argentine jersey, cradling a goat on his shoulders.

An image also shows Messi, smiling to the camera as he holds a baby goat.

Messi loves animals

"I am a big fan of animals," Messi told the magazine.

"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 love shown between him and the kids and the kids and him is constant."

Regarded as the best ever player in football history by some quarters, Messi is however not with the G.O.A.T description.

"I don't consider myself the best, I think I am just another player," he said.

"On the field, we are all the same when the game begins."

The photoshoot for the magazine cover took place at a Barcelona farm and educational centre called La Granja Natura.

The shoot took place at La Granja Natura, a Barcelona farm and educational centre where vets were available to ensure the animals were treated properly.

Messi’s G.O.A.T status is often questioned by his inability to win a trophy with Argentina and with the 2018 FIFA World Cup fast approaching, all eyes are on the 30-year-old.

Messi needs the World Cup

Messi stats

“We still have to make ourselves stronger as a team to be in the running to win and be at the same level as other teams like France, Germany, Brazil or Spain,” Messi told PAPER of Argentina’s chances in Russia.

“But we have a good group of players and the .

“We always aim to win and we will try to go slowly but strongly to advance in the competition.”

Messi's Argentina have been drawn with Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in the Group D of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.