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22nd Jun 2018

World Cup Stories: Settling the GOAT debate once and for all

Who would actually make the best actual goat?

Kyle Picknell

“But but but who is the GOAT?” they whimper, “we must know!” they cry. Come with me now child, let us move the light from the shadows, let us find out once and for all, together

It is an unfortunate consequence of two of the most gifted athletes in human history happen to exist at the same time, in the same sports, and even sometimes within the same 90x120m pitch.

When they go head to head for the Ballon d’Or, an ultimately meaningless acknowledgement of their brilliance which they have shared between themselves for over a decade, it is not so much a tug-of-war as the bored endgame of a pre-adolsecent pass the parcel.

“No, you have it, I insist, I already have five of these at home”

“But so do I…”

Enough is enough. Always envisaging myself as a martyr it is now time to throw myself onto the pyre and end the Messi and Ronaldo continuum, the Ronaldo and Messi conundrum.

This is not the petrol to the flames, this is the fucking water tower. Let’s end it, now. This is definitive. This is final. “Who is the GOAT?” Well, we shall know soon enough.

Round 1: Who looks more like a goat?

We’ll start off nice and easy with things we know for sure, the things we know to be undeniably, quantifiably true. Of the two superhuman goalscoring phenoms, which of them most closely resembles a goat?

The answer, by landslide, is Lionel Messi, who has even obliged us by growing his little, goaty, and for some reason ginger, beard out to a perfect shaggy daddy goat length.

It’s a weird thing, isn’t it? When people look like animals. When people look like things that aren’t them. Look at Joe Allen here, happy Joe Allen, holding a chicken who also happens to be his exact doppelganger. It’s funny, isn’t it? It’s odd that. It’s odd how he looks like this exact chicken who he has somehow, through a sheer miracle, found, found out of the tens of millions of chickens I presume are out there roaming the plains of England, and is now holding. An incredibly fortuitious circumstance which ever way you look at it.

In a similar vein, look at Messi here.  At first glance it looks like it could a sibling, or at least a cousin. But no. Look a bit closer and  you will see it is, in fact, an actual mountain goat.

Uncanny. Messi looks more like a goat.

Round 2: Who would produce more milk and cheese for weird European people consume?

Immediately the argument becomes more difficult. Who, scientifically, would produce more dariy products between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is not an easy thing to ascertain but we will endeavour to do so, using science.

Messi, well, Messi would produce his milk like he produces 20 yard caresses over the top of packed defences: delicately. It would drip out of him, one drop performatively stretching out, slowly following the other only after waiting a preordained period of time out of politeness, not to encroach on the last drop’s space.

It would taste slightly sweet, if a little bland, and his cheese would be comfortably mild to suit most mainstream cheese tastes.

Overall, have to be honest here, he would not be the best choice for the dairy farmer looking for a hyper-efficient goat to keep his struggling business afloat in the growing vegan age.

That hyper-efficient goat you’re looking for would be Ronaldo, the milk practically gushing out of his firm, hard nipples like a pinched garden nose. He will fill up all your milk bottles with ease and scream “MILK ME” until you run out of bottles. He would produce the most pungent cheese on earth, worthy enough of it’s own lofty pedestal on the deli counter

Ronaldo. Ronaldo would be the goat from a production of dairy products standpoint.

Round 3: Who is more sure-footed scaling the harsh terrain of the Rocky Mountains?

Who, between them, would last longer, perched on the harsh, vertical cliff face as the very surface they are standing on falls to rubble beneath them?

Both of them, in their laser thin, ultra lightweight, sandals of destruction, so lovingly adorning their precious, precious, infinitely valuable feet as they fire in goals and sweat joy, ecstasy and endorsement money… both of them would plummet down into the unforgiving rocks below and their own grizzly, mangled deaths.

Neither of them are mountain goats, neither of them win this round, but they will be mourned. The comment warrios, the twitter fanboys and the parody accounts will have to find new champions and they will soon begin arguing amongst themselves whether Neymar is actually better than a really, really, heavily fired up Victor Moses.

No consensus will ever be reached and the days grow ever darker without them.

Decider: Who would leave the most lasting impression if you were visiting the feeding bit at the farm where you feed the goats?

Let me construct a little scene for you using only my deep knowledge of the behavioural patterns of goats, particularly young goats, and my similarly deep understanding of pretending to know everything about Messi and Ronaldo.

We walk, no, we stroll into the goat enclosure, full of baby goats – these are called kids – and full of goats a bit older than that but not quite yet does or billies. Those are the terms for adult goats. Research did go into this article, thank you. Anyway, the in between goats, these are just called goats and they don’t have a special name as far as I’m aware.

Yes they’re just discovering Pink Floyd and they don’t talk to you much, and they stomp when they walk up the stairs but yeah, not a specific term for them yet.

Anyway, you stroll in with your baby bottle full of milk, perhaps fresh from the teet of Cristiano himself, and you are ready to just have a good time frollicking around with the goats. You spot a goat food dispenser and you drain it until your cupped hands overflow like Jesus at the last supper, full to the very brim with the life giving feed.

This is what happens. Messi, who is a goat, obviously, sort of hovers around but doesn’t come directly over. He’s just floating, you could say, drifting out to the wooden fence perimeter before darting in as though he was going to come and take a wet, slobbery mouthful the way goats don’t do. He is teasing, Messi. You’re not sure what he wants, or where he wants it, but sure enough, he does eventually arrive and start nibbling away.

Joe Allen, who is a chicken, who is a chicken without a head, is over in the chicken coop doing wonky laps.

Ronaldo is also a goat and he is over towards the other side of the pen trotting about on his hind legs. Quite unusual for a goat, yes, but not that peculiar given the entire construction of this metaphor. He sniffs the food out immediately, lowers himself to a normal goat posture and begins running towards you. Expecting him to dig in you just hold both your hands out in anticipation of the incoming drool assault but no, something unsual happens.

Ronaldo the goat, goat Ronaldo, he just runs straight past, before a quick spin-jump in the air lands him back in a completely upright position. His chin is raised. He resembles a big, bronze, mishapen statue of himself, but as a goat. He wants you to feed him. He will not lower himself and nuzzle beneath you. It is you who must succumb. He will not.

So are you? Are you going to slump over to the big Ronaldo goat on his hind legs with his stupid goat goatee pointed to the sun and his big tensed goat thighs visibly bulging.

Yes. Yes you are. You will give into his every goat demand and worship him like the Greeks did Pan, like Thor did Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr, like the the people who eat goat dairy worship goat dairy. Like them, you will love every second.

Whilst all this was going on another goat makes himself known to the pen. How does the goat does this? Let me tell you. This goat does it by being extremely goat-like. He does it by being that goat that is always there, in the goat pens, being a massive goat. He does it by ramming every other goat out of its path, the dimunitive, gentle Messi goat, the cocky, aloof Ronaldo goat, all of them, all of them fucking belted aside by way of bashing them with his extremely hard goat head, not significantly harder than the other goat heads, just possessing a more mental brain, a more frenetic central nervous system.

Then he does so by saying “BAAAAA” but not like a sheep, not in a pleasant, appealing way, but like a goat, in a loud, shrill, endless warcry that pierces the skulls of all those fortunate enough not to have been butted out of the pen already.

After that he does so by finding your hands, fill of lovely soft goat pellets, your gentle, moisturised hands, and attacking them vigorously with teeth and with tongue, with tongue and with teeth, all the while crying “BAAAA” until all that is left is a few soggy morsels stuck to your hand. The rest is either on the floor or in this single goat’s belly. It has ruined the otherwise tranquil goat feeding environment and perhaps the day, not just for you but for the other goats themselves, who must now go hungry and unloved through no fault of their own.

This goat, this goat is a winnger though. This goat’s name is Sergio Ramos. This goat is Sergio Ramos as a goat, or perhaps just Sergio Ramos in the goat pen, being Sergio Ramos, I’m not even sure anymore so rich and cogent is the analogy.

All I know is he is the football player most likely to exhibit goat behaviour, and therefore the actual GOAT. Yeah. Yeah I think we’re done here. I think we’re done forever.