Lionel Messi with a goat@papermagazine

Messi's goat photoshoot went viral, but what about these other footballers with animals?

One of football's greatest has just featured in a very literal photo shoot

An image of Jagroop Shinbt
Jagroop Shinbt
Share this:

Whether it's Usain Bolt being as fast as a cheetah or Michael Phelps being as sleek as a shark, athletes are often compared with animals - and it applies to footballers as well.

Notably Lionel Messi, who's picked up the nickname 'GOAT' over the years, but not because he trots across the pitch like the furry mammal: it stands for 'greatest of all time.'

The New York magazine behind Kim Kardashian's 2014 champagne photoshoot that 'broke the internet' decided it would be a good idea to pair Messi with some goats to see what the comparisons would be, and it's no surprise that the pics have since gone viral. 

Nothing beats seeing Lionel Messi trying to nutmeg a baby goat.

But Messi isn't the only footballer who has seen that pictures with animals are internet gold. Here are a few other footballers who've rubbed shoulders (or feathers) with adorable creatures.


Chelsea’s Pedro wants to make sure you know exactly what’s going on in his social media posts, which is why usually he points out the key element in his pictures.

Here he is pointing out a lizard on his shoulder.

That's a huge smile he's got there on his face. It's probably hiding his borderline terror at a reptile climbing towards his head though.

Mats Hummels

Hummels will have to take up the hard-man role in the World Cup if he’s hoping to be Germany’s rock in the defence. That might mean not showing anyone selfies with his pet Labrador so that he can stay in character.

Here he was comparing the length of his tongue with that of his dog Coco, who also happens to be his training partner and long-time bestie.

David Alaba

Bayern Munich’s David Alaba may have gotten the wrong idea when he was chilling with some deer in the mountains.

Most footballers would have probably taken a selfie or just simply been impressed by the herd, but not Alaba. No, he took the opportunity to teach the deer how to dab, because when else are you going to get that chance?

Greatest. Shepherd. Ever.

Joe Allen

Stoke City’s Joe Allen ruffled a few feathers when he appeared on the cover of Chicken and Egg magazine in 2016.

It turned out Allen and his wife were saving and re-homing commercial birds at their home, and had a total of two roosters and 10 hens keeping them company.

“We didn’t have any hens growing up but wanted to help chickens after they finished their commercial lives,” Allen said. "Spending time with my family and pets is very important to me so I always find a way to get the right balance."

It's probably best for footballers to stick to their current human fanbases, because it's obvious these animals couldn't give a monkey's whether they're famous or not.