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'A man who refuses compromise' - Man United great Cantona to receive Uefa President's Award

The Frenchman will be honoured for putting ‘his heart and soul into supporting the causes he believes in’.

Cantona during this year's Unicef Soccer Aid match at Old Trafford.
Cantona during this year's Unicef Soccer Aid match at Old Trafford.
Image: Martin Rickett

ERIC CANTONA WILL receive the Uefa President’s Award, which “recognises outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities”. 

The Frenchman has been selected by Aleksander Ceferin for the work he has done to improve the lives of others since retiring in 1997.  

53-year-old Cantona is set to be honoured in Monaco this Thursday, where the Champions League group stage draw will take place. 

“This award not only recognises his career as a player of the highest calibre, but also honours him for the person he is – a man who refuses compromise, who stands up for his values, who speaks his mind and in particular, puts his heart and his soul into supporting the causes he believes in,” said Ceferin.

soccer-umbro-cup-manchester-united-v-ajax The Frenchman during his Man United days. Source: EMPICS Sport

Marseille-born Cantona played for several clubs in his homeland but it was England where he really made a name for himself. 

After joining Leeds United in January 1992 and winning the old First Division, the forward was signed by Manchester United for £1.2 million in November of that year. 

He went on to become a club legend at Old Trafford — winning four Premier League titles, and two FA Cups under Alex Ferguson before retiring from football at the age of 30. 

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Never far from controversy, he received a nine-month ban and 120 hours of community service in January 1995 for kicking a Crystal Palace fan in the crowd moments after being sent off at Selhurst Park. 

Capped 45 times for France, he had a number of run-ins with managers and was suspended in 1988 for calling Henri Michel “a bag of shit”. 

After hanging up his boots, Cantona turned his hand to acting while he has also worked for a number of charitable causes. 

Previous winners of the President’s Award include  Alfredo Di Stéfano, Bobby Charlton, Eusébio, Raymond Kopa, Johan Cruyff, Francesco Totti and David Beckham.

About the author:

Ben Blake

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