PAPER Magazine have gone all out on their latest World Cup-themed cover and paid homage to the game’s GOAT.
Lionel Messi is interviewed by the mag ahead of what could be his last-ever World Cup, where he and the likes of Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero will attempt to fire Argentina to glory in Russia.
They document Messi’s rise from growth-stunted teenager to the pinnacle of the sport as club and country legend, whilst picturing him kitted out in the new Argentina home shirt alongside a variety of actual goats. PAPER unveiled that Messi is a big fan of animals when detailing the shoot:
When Messi arrives to our photo session and sees the goats on set, he warmly approaches the animals, laughing and playing with one of the babies. Both pose for the photo like professional models. Then comes the hard part: Messi grabs tightly onto the reins of the big male goat. He gives the camera a knowing look, a hint of defiance in his eyes. The photo session goes off without a hitch. “I am a big fan of animals,” he says. “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.”
Check out the iconic images from the new PAPER editorial below, and check out the article in full here.