Diego Simeone applauding Lionel Messi's late winner proves just how special he is

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona  - La Liga

Lionel Messi only went and won his sixth Ballon d'Or on Monday night, narrowly beating out Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk.

Messi edged ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo - who has five Golden Balls - once again as he took a massive step towards settling the debate as to which of the two superstars in the greatest of all time.

In the end it was a close run contest but, after months of speculation that largely had Messi pegged as favourite, the news was confirmed in a glittering ceremony in Paris.

The Argentine maestro was simply unplayable, and, in the end, was a more than deserving winner of football's most prestigious individual award.

Watching Messi is such a treat for any football fan but it seems the same can be said even of some of his most fierce opposition.

That is because remarkable footage has emerged of Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone reacting to Messi's incredible winner at the weekend.

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona  - La Liga

With the game ticking away, Messi took the clash by the scruff of the neck and won it with a goal right out of the top draw.

Simeone - who lives and breathes each and every moment of his clubs games - could do naught but applaud from the sidelines as he reluctantly skulked back to his dugout.

It just goes to show how good Messi is that, even in the face of a painful loss, Simeone simply had to acknowledge that what he had just seen was very special.

Messi's goal would prove to be the difference as Barca shot back to the top of the La Liga standings.

With his sixth Golden Ball neatly tucked away, Messi will have his heart firmly set on righting the wrongs of the Champions League in recent years.

If he can deliver another European triumph, then he might just have to make room for Ballon d'Or number seven.

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