There is an argument for Lionel Messi being the GOAT both by the eye test and on paper. And PAPER has made that abundantly clear.

On Monday, the magazine made Messi the first soccer player to ever grace its cover. He is also the first athlete to appear on the cover in roughly two decades. Although PAPER has been around since 1984, fashion, pop culture and art have dominated its covers. Ahead of the 2018 World Cup, that has changed.

Messi is featured on the cover in an Adidas shirt and a real-life goat. In behind-the-scenes footage shared with ThePostGame, another goat can be seen playing with Messi Adidas cleats and settling a ball with its head.

The actual cover story is written by Gemma Soler and translated by El País' Melissa Kitson.

"I don’t consider myself the best, I think I am just another player," Messi says in the piece. "On the field, we are all the same when the game begins."

Yeah, OK, sure, Messi.

Lionel Messi

Messi will be playing in his fourth World Cup and he will turn 31 on June 24 during the tournament. Messi led Argentina with four goals in the 2014 World Cup, as La Albacieste reached the Final, losing to Germany. Argentina has won two World Cup titles, but those came long before Messi arrived, in 1978 and 1986.

During PAPER's shoot, the brand worked with veterinarians and staff from La Granja Natura, a Barcelona farm and educational center, to ensure the safe treatment of the goats on set. Messi, who was born in Rosario, Argentina, moved from to Barcelona at age 13 in 2000. He joined Barcelona's youth academy soon after and has played professionally in Barcelona's system since 2003.

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