Manchester United legend Eric Cantona will be the recipient of the 2019 UEFA President’s Award, joining the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, David Beckham, Johan Cruyff, Alfredo Di Stefano, Eusebio, Francesco Totti, Raymond Kopa and others on the prestigious list of winners.
The President's Award recognises outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities, with Cantona recognised by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin in particular for his commitment to improving the lives of others through charity work.
Cantona was famously a four-time Premier League winner and two-time FA Cup winner with Manchester United during a five-year spell in the 1990s and also played a crucial mentoring role following the emergence of the club’s famed ‘Class of ‘92’.
He walked away from professional football at the age of just 30 in May 1997 and immediately turned his hand to acting and later to beach soccer.
But the iconic Frenchman’s charitable commitments have also been a major part of his post-football life. Cantona, like Čeferin, has notably pledged himself to the growing Common Goal initiative in which football stars donate 1% of their salary to charity.
“Football should be for the people. There is no reason why the major actors in the game today cannot come together and support the social aspect of football.” Former @ManUtd legend Eric Cantona is joining Common Goal. Read his story on @tpt_global: https://t.co/q4n4R10IaR pic.twitter.com/BMSkj7drOq— Common Goal (@CommonGoalOrg) October 12, 2018
"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," Čeferin said.
Cantona will receive his award in Monaco on Thursday 29 August during the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage draw.
Source : 90min