'Take me as I am': Eric Cantona explains cryptic Champions League speech

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

Eric Cantona has - in his own unique way - explained the bizarre speech he delivered at the Uefa Champions League draw, which left the football world puzzled.

Cantona became a Manchester United legend with his showmanship at Old Trafford that shot him to superstardom.

But the Frenchman also became known for his bizarre and poetic monologues in front of the press.

But his recent speech when accepting the Uefa President’s Award left fans - including Cristiano Ronaldo - stunned during the ceremony.

While many have tried to work out what the speech meant, Cantona has gone some way in explaining why he delivered the cryptic message.

“I don’t like to explain things. For me it means something,” the Frenchman began.

“I prefer to say something that opens doors. And make the people think about it.

“I was reading an art magazine on the plane yesterday. And I was reading the exhibition of Francis Bacon in Pompidou.

Eric Cantona delivered a cryptic speech at the Uefa Champions League draw ceremony. (Getty Images)

“And it started from that.”

Cantona’s speech can be read below:

“As flies to wanton boys, we are for the gods,” Cantona began, quoting from Shakespeare’s King Lear.

“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 cells to the state. And so we become eternal. Only accidents, crimes, wars will still kill us. But unfortunately, crimes and wars will multiply. I love football. Thank you.”

Cameras panned to Ronaldo and Messi during the speech, which showed the Juventus forward looking bewildered.

Ronaldo (pictured left) looked bewildered during Eric Cantona's (pictured right) speech. (Images: Uefa/Getty Images)