For no particular reason, Eric Cantona has spoken out against the likes of Mario Balotelli and Leo Messi for pre-calculating celebrations and seeking attention by revealing messages on their shirts. From goal.com:
"I dreamt of being a footballer, of doing great things, of crying and laughing after a victory, of exploding with joy. It is about spontaneity.
"I never had anything on a T-shirt, never calculated anything. Every action is unique, every reaction unique."
During his career, of course, Cantona was always the consummate professional — never one to stand out or draw attention to himself, he simply got on with his job in a low-key manner. Well, apart from all the taunting goal celebrations, punching teammates in the face, horrific tackles, throwing balls at referees, turning his collar up to create an identity copied by kids all over the world, constant disciplinary problems that got him banned for club and country, spitting in fans' faces, kung-fu kicking a Crystal Palace fan, the ridiculous (and calculated) "seagulls and the trawler" press conference, his public decision to support England instead of France in major tournaments, and his post-retirement attention-grabbing pièce de résistance, the fake Presidential campaign.
A lot of Cantona's antics were spontaneous, but a lot were clearly calculated — and it's certainly the spontaneous stuff he should be less proud of.
- Eric Cantona
- Mario Balotelli
- Leo Messi