Carles Carabi Photographs Messi the GOAT
Who is the GOAT?
We’re not talking farm animals or the inhabitants of craggy mountains, but instead the “Greatest of All Time,” typically given to an athlete who proves themselves to be the top of their sport. Often used to describe Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, and Serena Williams, Paper Magazine recently dubbed Lionel Messi as the GOAT in football (known as “soccer” to Americans). They did so on the cover of their latest issue with photography by Carles Carabi who went literal with the shoot: he photographed the football player with more than a couple hairy friends.
The goats (not including Messi) that Carles photographed number by the dozen and were all active on set. Carles worked with veterinarians and animal handlers through La Granja Natura, a farm in Barcelona, to ensure that all the goat buddies would remain healthy and suffer no harm. The fact that Carles was able to wrangle that many goats at once is no minor accomplishment: the photographs show a measure of solemnity and grace – with a hint of pleasure as Messi himself was able to have some fun with the animals. The rule in entertainment is: never work with children or animals, because they'll always steal the show. But with Carles' expert composition, he draws the eye exactly where it should be at all times.
Thanks to Carles, whether Messi is dressed for the game or not he fits right into the herd of GOATS which is exactly where he belongs.