When a player like Lionel Messi is deemed to have "fallen off" and "invisible."
already, his stats are equal across all competitions with his breakout year of 2008-2009 and there are still about 18 matches to play across competitions. (38 goals, 18 assists in 51 apps in 08-09, 37 and 19 so far this year in 37 apps)
does this mean that for Messi to remain "relevant", he must continuously get so much better than the previous year that it questions the very difficulty of the league?
or does this mean that the production of a player today is held to a much higher standard than even just 7 years ago?