Former Manchester United forward Eric Cantona has received the UEFA President’s Award for his outstanding contribution to the game.
According to the organization’s President, Aleksander Čeferin, the award recognizes his playing career as well as his humanitarian efforts off the field, since hanging up his boots.
Cantona is a supporter of the Common Goal initiative which funds football charities across the world.
As a footballer, the Frenchman won four Premier League titles in five seasons at Manchester United before retiring at just 30 years old.
In all of his club football, he played 369 games and scored 131 goals, while appearing 45 times for his country and netting 20 times.
On the occasion of the award, some of the people worked alongside Cantona gave testimonies about his career.
“He ruled Old Trafford for five years. He was an unbelievable talent to play with and watch in games and training.”
Ryan Giggs, Manchester United team-mate from 1992–95
“Everyone took to him, controversy or not. He oozed charisma and genius in equal measure, and is by far and away the best ever in the Premier League. It was an honour to have played with him.”
Peter Schmeichel, former Manchester United goalkeeper
“Eric Cantona was special, he had an aura about him, he is the king of Old Trafford and that’s the way he should always be remembered.”
David Beckham, former Manchester United midfielder
“If ever there was one player, anywhere in the world, that was made for Manchester United, it was Cantona. He swaggered in, stuck his chest out, raised his head and surveyed everything as though he were asking: ‘I’m Cantona. How big are you?'”
Sir Alex Ferguson, former Manchester United manager