French former soccer star Eric Cantona receives the UEFA President's Award during the Champions League group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
French former soccer star Eric Cantona receives the UEFA President's Award during the Champions League group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
French former soccer star Eric Cantona poses to the photographers before the UEFA Champions League group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
French former soccer star Eric Cantona poses to the photographers before the UEFA Champions League group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
French former soccer star Eric Cantona poses to the photographers before the UEFA Champions League group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
French former soccer star Eric Cantona poses to the photographers before the UEFA Champions League group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

MONACO – Former France great Eric Cantona gave a typically perplexing speech after collecting the Uefa presidential award at the Champions League draw.

Cantona said “only accidents, crimes, wars will still kill us, but unfortunately crimes and wars will multiply. I love football.”

It came after Cantona, who was fondly referred to as ‘King Eric’ by fans of former club Manchester United, was asked to give his thoughts on receiving the accolade in Monaco.

Dressed in a red shirt and grey cap, Cantona started off by invoking William Shakespeare’s King Lear: “As flies to wanton boys, we are for the gods.”

He added: “They will kill us for the sport. Soon the science will not only be able to slow down the aging of the cells, soon the science will fix the cells to the state, and so we will become eternal.”

Cantona was known as an original thinker on and off the pitch, and has a history of making nonsensical statements.

At a news conference in February 1995 after he was handed an eight-month ban for jumping into the stands and kicking a fan in England, Cantona’s only comment before walking out of the room was: “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.”

AP

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