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Cantona quotes Shakespeare in awards speech

10 Feb 1996: Eric Cantona of Manchester United prepares to take a throw in during an FA Carling Premiership match against Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. Manchester United won the match 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Shaun Botterill/Allsport

Eric Cantona received his UEFA Presidents award last night and indulged the audience all over the world to some Shakespeare.

As we brought you here at Ronaldo.com, the retired former Manchester United captain was awarded the UEFA Presidents award 2019.

The charismatic and often enigmatic Frenchman has a knack for quirky speeches and press conferences.

Those of us that remember his press conference following his kung fu style kick attack on an abusive Crystal Palace fan.

He said:

“When seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.”

While last nights speech was under far better circumstances, it was just as bizarre and just as Cantona as ever.

Cantona opted for a far more casual look than others. As he donned an open-collared red shirt and a flat cap.

As he took to the stage to deliver another piece of literary genius, as reported by ESPN, he said:

“As flies to wanton boys are we to 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 and wars will multiply. I love football. Thank you.”

As player, Eric Cantona was always front and centre on any footballing stage.

Cantona, funnily enough, turned to acting as his chosen profession when he hung up his professional football players boots. Another stage for him to play the lead role as he did on so many occasions on the football field.

Last night Cantona combined football with the stage, and enchanted the crowd with the words of William Shakespeare.

Presenting the award, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said:

“Eric was a fantastic player.”

“Later, he became an actor and a commentator – but, most of all, he’s a person who has done a lot for good.”

“He has dedicated part of his life to charity, so he absolutely deserves this award.”

On a more serious note, Cantona closed with the comments:

“I love football.”

“It’s a great honour for me.”

“Football is the most popular sport in the world, and through football, we can help a lot of people.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JUNE 10: French former player Eric Cantona looks on during the Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2018 match between England and The Rest of the World at Old Trafford on June 10, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)