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Messi and Ter Stegen are Valverde's reliable duo

  /  autty

Lionel Messi sealed the win for Barcelona at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday evening with his late goal, providing another example of him settling games for the Catalans.

He did it with one of his favourite plays. Taking the ball from deep, driving to the edge of the area, playing a one-two and then finishing. A classic of his.

The Argentine has been life assurance for 15 years and on Monday he'll collect his sixth Ballon d'Or.

Leo likes collecting prizes off the back of match-winning goals.

But by Messi's side, Barcelona have a more silent hero. Marc-Andre ter Stegen is immense and he showed that again in Madrid.

The German was key at the Wanda with two big stops in the first half.

We've already seen this this season too, with the clearest case coming at Borussia Dortmund.

Barcelona dependence on both was apparent at Atletico. Ter Stegen stopped them, and Messi finished them off.

You can't take anything away from players like Luis Suarez who are obviously important, but Messi and Ter Stegen are from another planet.

They always appear. They always deliver points. Having these players is a luxury for Ernesto Valverde.