But despite many believing the Barcelona and Argentina superstar is the G.O.A.T – the Greatest Of All Time – the man himself continues to dispute this.
Messi posed for the shoot with New York-based magazine Paper, where he cradled a kid goat and stood next to a horned adult. And he will be hoping to be the leader of his own pack in ten days when Argentina head to Russia and try to win the World Cup.
Speaking to the Paper, Messi explained his love of his animals.
He said: “I am a big fan of animals.
“I grew up with them and they have taught me many things. Now we have our dog Hulk [a large French mastiff] 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.”
Messi is mentioned by many in the same breath as the likes of countryman Diego Maradona and Brazilian legend Pele.
But some believe until he wins the ultimate international competition, he cannot take that claim. And the man himself distances himself from such an assertion.
He added: “I don’t consider myself the best, I think I am just another player.
“On the field, we are all the same when the game begins.”
Messi continued, “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.
“But we have a good group of players and the Argentine team is always going to be a candidate to win, it doesn’t matter how we get there.
“We always aim to win and we will try to go slowly but strongly to advance in the competition.”
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