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What did Cantona mean in his speech?

The French is not crazy and probably we havn't understood nothing

What did Cantona mean in his speech? The French is not crazy and probably we havn't understood nothing

Virgil Van Dijk it's the FIFA Player of the Year 2019, the next Champions League that takes shape and even a friendly declaration of public esteem - not so frequent - between Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. Yesterday in Monte Carlo there was the whole football elite but one of the most unsettling moments of the evening was Eric Cantona's speech, at the delivery of the UEFA President's Award. It is not so much the attitude of the former champion of Manchester United, Leeds and Marseille that surprises, rather the senselessness of his words, cryptic and disconnected for the prize and the moment. Starting with a quote from William Shakespeare, Cantona then moved on to the science, to cells and eternal life, concluding as the most romantic of English poets, moving the discourse on the misfortunes of the world and wars.  Few laughs of embarrassment - like Pavel Nedved's - was broken by cold applause, leaving more than a perplexity and the impression that it was just a French stunt to make a show. However, Cantona is a great communicator and it is more likely that his performance was a great invective against UEFA and the politics of modern football. We tried to collect some theories, analyzing the discussion step by step.

King Eric begins by quoting Shakespeare's King Lear, a tragedy written in 1606

"As flies to wanton boys we are to the gods. They kill us for the sport ".

It is likely that with these words Cantona is criticizing the political class (the Gods in this metaphor) in football (UEFA and FIFA). The flies are the players, starting with Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who assist with wax faces from the front row. For Cantona the players do not have sufficient power and strength, those in charge will continue to have control of the game for their interests.

"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 become eternal"

This passage, which seems to lighten the tones, can be understood in two ways. The first is the more scientific one, which criticizes the new figure of the athlete and a game that depends more and more on the physical component (meanwhile CR7 does not smile). The second interpretation is the more political and controversial one, addressed once again to the federal bodies. The cells would be the metaphor of the goals of the state, made eternal and unassailable by technology, which represses the freedom, imagination and spontaneity of football. The play on words and the double meaning of the English term "State" (State), could justify this way of seeing the thing.

"Only accidents, crimes, wars will still kill us. But unfortunately crimes and wars will multiply "

This is the most pessimistic side of the speech, which leaves little hope for the future of football, struck by wars that "flies" cannot defeat.

"I love football"

The words of Cantona refer to the press conference in which he began with this sentence "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea", pronounced in 1995, after the appeal against the imprisonment sentence of two weeks for the kick to the Crystal Palace supporter. In that case, the seagulls were the journalists who in those months had set up a media circus around him in the name of easy success.
The 29-year-old Cantona appears to be very different, however, from the one who presented himself in Montecarlo yesterday with his unkempt beard, his cap and his shirt unbuttoned at the most glamour world football ceremony. The shamelessness and the histrionic theatricality left space for indecipherable words, so that the media could not crucify him as in 1995. Therefore only laughter prevails for that "bizarre" award winner.
The well-known political activism, which in 2012 brought the former number 7 to ask the French mayors the 500 signatures needed for the presidential candidacy, explains yesterday's words better than anything.
At the time the goal was to fight against the government and the banks power, now against FIFA and UEFA, to return to that football of raised collars and Joga Bonito.