Eric Cantona left football’s biggest stars baffled with his bizarre acceptance speech for the 2019 UEFA President's Award.
The former Manchester United footballer spoke for less than a minute as he accepted the lifetime achievement award but he still managed to touch on Shakespeare’s King Lear, cell regeneration and war in that short time.
Cantona's speech in full is below:
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 will become eternal.
Only accidents, crimes, wars, will still kill us but unfortunately, crimes, wars, will multiply.
I love football. Thank you.
When the presenter asked him "What's going on through your mind right now?", he probably wasn't expecting such a frank answer.
And if you didn’t understand any of that, you’re not alone – two of football’s greatest players were left lost for words too.
Messi and Ronaldo's reaction to Eric Cantona's speech...
Absolutely brilliant 😂 https://t.co/Z6xBYRHLjP
— Football on BT Sport (@Football on BT Sport)
One interpretation of the speech is that Cantona is musing on the inevitability of suffering and how football remains a constant joy in his life amid destruction from wars and crimes.
But much like his iconic “seagulls following the trawler” quote, it’s left deliberately ambiguous.
ICYMI, here's Eric Cantona's speech at the #UCLDraw last night 😉 https://t.co/5e4vUZtNsm