Eric Cantona baffles former professionals with ‘bizarre’ speech at UCL draw

Michael Owen was among the former professionals left confused by Eric Cantona's speech at the 2019/20 Champions League draw in Monaco.

Cantona was presented with the 2019 Uefa President's Award during the draw for Europe's premier football competition, and was asked for his thoughts on stage.

His answer, it is fair to say, surprised everyone.

"As flies to wanton boys, we are for the gods, they kill us for the sport," said the Manchester United legend.

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Manchester United's Eric Cantona hammers the ball towards goal in their UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg soccer match at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester Wednesday April 23 1997. Dortmund won the match 1-0. (AP Photo/ Dave Caulkin)
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)
Former footballer Eric Cantona in action on the pitch at Old Trafford as part of Unicef's Soccer Aid, Manchester, Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
Former footballer Eric Cantona in action on the pitch at Old Trafford as part of Unicef's Soccer Aid, Manchester, Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
Former French soccer star Eric Cantona watches the semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament between Britain's Andy Murray and Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Friday, June 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Actor Eric Cantona poses for portraits for the movie Les Rois Du Monde at the Rome Film Festival in Rome, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
Actor and former soccer star Eric Cantona poses for photographers during the photo call of the movie Les Rois du Monde/Mad Kings, at Rome's Film Festival, in Rome, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
French actor and former football player Eric Cantona arrives to present an award at the Laureus World Sports Awards on Wednesday, April. 15, 2015 in Shanghai, China. (AP Photo)
French former soccer player Eric Cantona arrives with his wife Rachida Brakni at the ceremony of the "Golden Foot 2012" awards, in Monaco, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
Soccer legends, New York Cosmos' Director of Soccer Eric Cantona, left, and Honorary President Pele pose during the announcement of the New York Cosmos Opus in London, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. The New York Cosmos Opus is the definitive publication on one of the world's most glamorous soccer franchises. New York Cosmos is due to play Manchester United in a Paul Scholes testimonial match at Old Trafford on Friday, the first U.S. team to play at the stadium. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Eric Cantona headshot, actor and former soccer player, graphic element on gray
Former Manchester United player Eric Cantona of France poses with Renault driver Fernando Alonso of Spain having exchanged gifts prior to the start of the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, in Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 21 2009. (AP Photo/Tom Hevezi)
El actor y astro del fútbol francés Eric Cantona posa tras una entrevista sobre la película "Looking for Eric", durante el Festival de Cine de Cannes, en el sur de Francia, el miércoles 20 de mayo del 2009. (AP Foto/Joel Ryan)
French actor and former soccer player Eric Cantona, left, and his wife, French actress Rachida Brakni, right, arrive on the red carpet for the screening of 'Looking for Eric', during the 62nd International film festival in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 18, 2009.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)
French soccer legend Eric Cantona,, left,and British Director Ken Loach attend a photo call for their film "Looking For Eric<" during the 62nd International film festival in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
France's coach Eric Cantona is seen during the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup match against Uruguay, in Rio de Janeiro, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007. Uruguay defeated France by penlatys. Uruguay defeat france and won the third place. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Former captain of Manchester United soccer team Eric Cantona attends at a news conference in Hong Kong, Wednesday, July 20, 2005. Cantona is in the territory to promote Manchester United Soccer School in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Lo Sai Hung)
French soccer player Eric Cantona reacts during the third place match of the Euro Beach Soccer cup in Lisbon, Portugal on Tuesday, June 29, 2004. France lost to Italy after a penalty shoot out 9 :10. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Former Manchester United striker Eric Cantona of France holds a press conference in Madrid Monday September 8, 1997 to announce the upcomming soccer match in Madrid against racism in football. Soccer players from all quarters of the globe will participate in a football match against racism in Madrid October 12, 1997. (AP Photo/Denis Doyle)
Former Manchester United's French soccer star Eric Cantona, left, beats Stephane Plancque, one of two brothers in whose testimonial he came out of retirement for, during the game in Lille, Northern France Sunday May 25, 1997.(AP Photo/Max Nash)
French national team and Manchester United soccer star Eric Cantona, who retired from the game Sunday, takes a motorcycle ride with his son Raphael in Villard, southern France Wednesday May 21, 1997, where he is on vacation. (AP Photo/Patrick Gardin)
Manchester United team captain Eric Cantona holds the Premiership Trophy aloft at Old Trafford stadium Sunday May 11, 1997, where they finished the season with a 1-0 win against West Ham. (AP Photo / Tony Spencer)
Manchester United's Eric Cantona slots home his side's second goal, past Everton keeper Paul Gerrard during their English FA Premier league match at Goodison Park in Liverpool Saturday March 22, 1997. Manchester United won the match 2-0. (AP Photo / Dave Kendall, PA) **UNITED KINGDOM OUT**
Manchester United's Eric Cantona hammers the ball past FC Porto's Alosio, to score his teams second goal, Wednesday 5 March 1997 during the UEFA Champions Cup quarterfinals 1st leg soccer match played at Old Trafford in Manchester. Manchester United won the match 4-0. (AP Photo/Max Nash)
Manchester United captain Eric Cantona, center, congratulates Ole Solskjaer, left, as team mate Dennis Irwin, at right looks on after Solskjaer opened the scoring for Manchester United against Rapid Vienna in their UEFA Champions league soccer match at Old Trafford, Manchester Wednesday, September 25, 1996. (AP Photo/Dave Kendall) --UNITED KINGDOM OUT--
Manchester United's star striker Eric Cantona (left) with the FA Cup and manager Alex Ferguson with the Carling Premiership trophy on their victorious return to Manchester's Victoria Station Sunday May 12 1996. (AP Photo /Peter Wilcock/PA)
A triumphant Manchester United with the FA Cup after defeating Liverpool at London's Wembley Stadium Saturday, May 11 1996. United defeated Liverpool 1-0 after an 86th minute goal from the foot of team captain, Eric Cantona, back row, 2nd left. (AP Photo/PA-Sean Dempsey) UNITED KINGDOM OUT
Manchester United's Eric Cantona (left) takes the ball around Liverpool's John Scales during the first half of the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London Saturday May 11 1996 (AP Photo/PA-Sean Dempsey) UNITED KINGDOM OUT <%% 0 PICTURE_OK HEADER_OK 0 2 %%>
Manchester United's Eric Cantona, right and Liverpool's Jason McAteer collide in mid air while fighting for the ball during the second half of the English FA Cup final at London's Wembley Stadium Saturday May 11, 1996. Cantona went on to score the game's only goal in the final minutes of the game. Manchester United won the FA Cup and the English Soccer League title for the second time in three years.(AP PHOTO/ Max Nash)
Manchester United's Eric Cantona attacks an abusive Crystal Palace fan having been taunted following his sending off
* ERIC CANTONA, MANCHESTER UNITED, IS HELD BACK AFTER ATTACKING A CRYSTAL PALACE FAN ********** FIGHT
Manchester United's Eric Cantona (l) celebrates his goal with teammate Andrei Kanchelskis (r)
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"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 become eternal. Only accidents, crimes, wars will still kill us, but unfortunately crimes and wars will multiply.

"I love football. Thank you."

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were both in attendance, and looked equally confused by the Frenchman's words.

Former players voiced their own confusion on social media.

Match Of The Day presenter and former England striker Gary Lineker pointed to the philosophical implications of Cantona's speech for the season ahead.

Owen simply tweeted: "That has to be the most bizarre speech I've ever heard," prompting former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher to reply: "It was amazing!!"

Nobody kicks the Champions League off quite like Cantona, do they?

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