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Ernesto Valverde says having Lionel Messi is a ‘huge advantage’ for Barcelona

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The Barcelona captain scored the winner against Atletico

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde admitted having Lionel Messi is a “huge advantage” after the captain scored a brilliant late goal to beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 on Sunday.

There were only four minutes of normal time left at the Wanda Metropolitano when Messi picked up possession, played a one-two with Luis Suarez and then curled the ball past Jan Oblak.

The win moves Barcelona back to the top of La Liga and Valverde spoke about Messi after the game.

“In games which are even and hard, to have Leo is always a huge advantage,” he said.

“You have to suffer here but we have won and picked up three really important points, which is what is important.

”We expected Atletico to start as they did. We had to be strong in the first 20 minutes. They were doing damage on every attack. As the game went on, we got more control and both sides had clear chances. We had the better of the second half.”

Source | Goal

Messi could pick up his sixth Ballon d’Or on Monday. The Argentinian is being tipped to scoop the award ahead of Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk in Paris later today.