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It's Three Years Since Eric Cantona Left Cristiano Ronaldo And Lionel Messi Shocked With Acceptance Speech

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It's Three Years Since Eric Cantona Left Cristiano Ronaldo And Lionel Messi Shocked With Acceptance Speech

Two years ago, the great Eric Cantona left viewers baffled after his acceptance speech about Gods, wars and crimes after collecting the UEFA President's Award.


The Manchester United legend picked up his gong ahead of the Champions League group stage draw from UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

The award recognised the Frenchman's amazing football career and his support of charitable causes and helping to improve lives around the world. But it was his speech that left onlookers - including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - a bit perplexed.


Cantona talked about being sent from the Gods before going into details about crimes and wars.

He said: "As flies to wanton boys we are for the gods, they kill us for their sport.

"Soon the science will not only be able to slow down the ageing of the cells, soon the science will fix the cells to the state. And so we become eternal.


"Only accidents, crimes and wars will still kill us. But unfortunately, crimes and wars will multiply. I love football. Thank you."

So, what did it actually mean? According to 'King Eric' himself, not too much.

He told United's official website later that year: "I didn't think about the speech, really.

"I was reading in the morning an article about an exhibition in Paris on Francis Bacon, and I read that he used to like this sentence, from King Lear, Shakespeare. I started doing that."

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

Ever since his playing days when he fly-kicked a fan at Selhurst Park, Cantona has become known for his moments of madness.

This speech was another reason why the Frenchman has become a hero since retiring, having posted a bizarre X-rated video online of somebody smashing an egg.

He's also appeared in a music video for rock legend Liam Gallagher and refused payment for it. Cantona wanted nothing in return and even brought his own wine to the shoot.


"This award not only recognises his career as a player of the highest calibre but also honours him for the person he is," said UEFA boss Ceferin.

"[He is] a man who refuses compromise, who stands up for his values, who speaks his mind and, in particular, puts his heart and his soul into supporting the causes he believes in."

Featured Image Credit: UEFA

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Eric Cantona

Josh Lawless
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