This first point is the most obvious, but also the most debatable.
Lionel Messi is the reigning three-time Ballon d'Or winner and may be about to win his fourth consecutive award. He has already won 20 major team trophies and is already one of the most prolific goal-scorers in Spanish and European history.
He just turned 25 in June of 2012. The idea that he has yet to hit his peak is both exciting and scary.
If we are only seeing the first part of a long career, fans are witnessing a historic player. It also means that other teams are in for many more years of torment.
Yet, history proves that Messi is, in fact, not even peaking at this point.
One example of this fact is Messi's great rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.
When Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or in 2008, he had just turned 23 and had one of the greatest individual seasons in Premier League history.
By the time he made it through his first season in La Liga, it seemed as though CR7, while still one of football's greats, had peaked that season.
Ironically, Ronaldo was 25 at that point, the same age Messi is now.
Since then, the Portuguese superstar has shown that, despite everyone having years to study him and figure out how to control him, he is as unstoppable as ever. The Real Madrid man has made it clear that he is only in the middle of his prime and far from slowing down any time soon.
At the moment, Messi is entering the same period where Ronaldo began playing his best football.
Age Not Definitive
Of course, the number itself is not all that matters. Not every player peaks at the same time, and not everyone is at the same point in their careers at the same age.
Messi and Ronaldo may be the great rivals of their time, but they are very different players physically and in terms of playing style.
The goal-scoring abilities are equal, but the play-making abilities are not as Messi is superior in that respect.
So let's look at another legendary play-maker—Zinedine Zidane.
Zidane was also crowned World Player of the Year three times. Unlike Messi, he also won a World Cup. Also unlike Messi, the Frenchman won his biggest accolades later in his career.
His first Ballon d'Or came at the age of 26 and his last Player of the Year award was handed to him after his 31st birthday.
But Messi is not quite the same player Zidane was either.
The "Old Messi"
One man who Messi does always draw comparisons to is the Diego Maradona.
Messi was labelled the "New Maradona" from a very young age and it took him many years of elite football to shake that tag.
I'm not sure Maradona ever "peaked," but it is fair to say that his most defining years came much earlier than Zidane and right around where Ronaldo is now.
Maradona won the World Cup at the age of 26—the age Messi turns next year—and his best statistical domestic season came at the age of 20. He then proved to be Europe's best player in his mid-twenties with Napoli.
Making his Own History
So what do these examples prove? Nothing, really.
The cases of the three other greats shows that Messi is making his own path. If he is peaking right now, he has at least a few years to mimic Maradona and did it much sooner than Zidane.
He could follow Ronaldo's path, but is such a different player that we cannot know at this point.
What we do know is that there is more reason to think Messi's age is an argument that he has yet to peak rather than an argument against it.
Of course, earning a bit more rest and having less reliance on him at Barcelona will surely help his longevity.