Luka Modric winning the Ballon d’Or inadvertently saved Manchester United from having to part with £7.2million.
The Real Madrid midfielder won the coveted award for the first time on Monday night after a brilliant season in which he lifted the Champions League trophy and led Croatia to the final of the World Cup.
Modric won the Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award earlier this season and was favourite to scoop the Ballon d’Or as well.
Manchester United’s Anthony Martial was never in the running for the award, with five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo finishing second in the race for it and Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann coming third.
But had Martial scooped the award this season then the Red Devils would have had to pay out £7.2million to his former club Monaco.
The reason for this is that when United agreed to sign Martial back in 2015 the two clubs shook on a special clause.The clause, which would be triggered if Martial won the Ballon d’Or by 2019, would see United send the French club a cheque for £7.2million.
While United have dodged the bullet this year there is still one more opportunity for Martial to win the Ballon d’Or before the close of 2019.