The UEFA President’s Award 219 will go to Eric Cantona, the organisation said on Wednesday, August 28. UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin described the former French international as “a player of the highest calibre” who “puts his heart and soul into supporting the causes he believes in.”
The President’s Award recognises outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities, with Čeferin keen to stress that he admired Cantona’s commitment to improving the lives of others following the conclusion of his footballing career, UEFA said.
“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 the award in Monaco on Thursday, August 29, at the UEFA Champions League group stage draw. he scored 64 goals in 143 appearances for Manchester United. On his retirement in 1997, aged 30, he committed himself to a number of charitable causes in order to improve the lives of others.
Previous winners of the UEFA President’s Award include former players such as Alfredo Di Stéfano, Sir Bobby Charlton, Eusébio, Raymond Kopa, Johan Cruyff, Francesco Totti and David Beckham, UEFA said.
The UEFA Champions League group stage draw will be at 18:00 local time in Monaco.