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.
“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!!”
Cantona is no stranger to baffling philosophical statements. In 1995, after receiving a community service order for attacking an abusive football fan, the then Manchester United striker addressed a puzzled press conference.
“When seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea,” he said.