Football awards nights can be unexciting. The stilted speeches, the goal montages, makes the event lifeless. But when you got Ronaldo, Messi and Cantona, the event turns to be something else.

Lionell Messi and Ronaldo

Juventus forward, Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Messi sat next to each other sharing jokes and laughs. This made it difficult to imagine that the two were great rivals during Ronaldo’s nine years at Real Madrid.

“We have shared the stage for 15 years. I don’t know if that’s happened before- the same two guys on the same stage all the time,” Ronaldo said.

“Of course, we have had a good relationship. We haven’t had dinner together yet, but I hope in the future.”

“We had that battle in Spain. I pushed him and he pushed me. So, it’s good to be part of football history.”

As if that was not enough, former Manchester United and France striker, Cantona took up the stage and his musings were something else.


Dressed in a flat cap and a red shirt, Cantona began by quoting Shakespeare’s King Lear, “As flies to wanton boys we are for the gods,” before he proceeded to reference science, war and crime.

The audience, filled with football superstars watched in silence before sharing puzzled glances as Cantona made his way from the stage before Lucy Bronze and Virgil Van Dijk were later named UEFA’s Players of the year.

Cantona’s Peculiar speech

“As flies to wanton boys we are for the gods, they kill us for their sport.” “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 will become eternal.”

“Only accidents, crimes, wars will still kill us but unfortunately, crimes, wars, will multiply.”

“I love football. Thank you.”