Was thinking of Ozil as well, but hesitated to write about him.
Regarding Messi, I didn’t say he’s average or anything, just that a huge number of fans have a certain perception of him, as if there’s a huge gap between him and the next best player, as if there was a night and day difference. If we were to quantify footballing ability, people act as if he’s 10x or 100x the next best player. He’s not. There are faster players than him, there are players in his position with better workrate, there probably are better finishers than him. Yeah, if you put all his skills together he’s probably among the best players of all time, but by no means is he as good as other people make him out to be. A team of mediocre players and a Messi is not a great team, so he can’t be a 10x player. That’s just limited by the basic human physiology.
This just goes to show that there’s a big halo effect around him, and this was the purpose of this post.