Eric Cantona: Man Utd legend once gave most bizarre speech - Messi & Ronaldo baffled

Eric Cantona once gave potentially the strangest speech football has ever seen.

The Frenchman, who played at Auxerre, Marseille and Leeds, as well as Manchester United where he truly blossomed into a world class star, is undoubtedly a legend of the game.

After signing for the Red Devils in 1992 for a fee of £1.2 million, ‘The King’ went onto score 82 goals in 185 games for the club.

Many of which, were absolute belters of the highest order.

He was also instrumental in Sir Alex Ferguson’s team lifting a staggering nine trophies in the half-decade Cantona spent in Manchester, which included no less than four Premier League titles.

A dominant force, a creative genius blessed with a unique gift – that was Cantona.

But similarly to many mavericks, he had a rather peculiar side to his personality.

We probably saw the best example of that when he kung-fu kicked a Crystal Palace fan after being sent off in 1995 in what was one of the most shocking moments in English football history.

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However, we also got treated to that bizarre side of Cantona three years ago when he was handed the UEFA President’s Award.

In classic Cantona fashion, the nonchalant character rocked up in a flat cap, pink shirt and chinos whilst the remainder of the room sported finely pressed tuxedos.

He then proceeded to give one of the weirdest acceptance speeches we’ve ever witnessed.

Addressing the crowd, Cantona 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 will become eternal.

“Only accidents, crimes, wars, will still kill us but unfortunately, crimes, wars, will multiply. I love football. Thank you.”

WATCH: Cantona’s crazy speech

Sorry, what?! The whole room looked on absolutely baffled as the speech unfolded, with even Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo appearing dumbstruck as the camera panned across them.

It later became apparent that the speech was taken from William Shakespeare’s King Lear.

When asked about the bizarre speech the next month, Cantona simply replied:

“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.”

Maybe some context next time, Eric?

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