Saturday 12 May 2012
Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has won a public vote to find the Best Celebration in the Premier League's 20 Seasons Awards.
The iconic Frenchman was the preferred option of the hundreds and thousands of voters from around the world for the nonchalant way he acknowledged his goal against Sunderland at Old Trafford in 1996.
"That's the only thing I won? For a king like me it's not a lot"
- Eric Cantona
Cantona's sublime strike - itself one of the 10 contenders for Best Goal of the 20 Seasons - saw him run from the halfway line, play a one-two with Brian McClair and then impudently chip the ball over the advancing Sunderland goalkeeper Lionel Perez.
With Old Trafford in raptures, the mercurial forward slowly pirhouetted on the spot, surveying the scene and calmly taking in the magic of the moment, before eventually holding his arms aloft as McClair arrived to celebrate his brilliance.
Upon hearing that he had won the award, Cantona said: "That's the only thing I won? For a king like me it's not a lot."
Cantona received a record five nominations in the 20 Seasons Awards - for Best Goal, Best Celebration, Most Memorable Quote, Best Player and Forward for the public and panel Fantasy Teams.
Here's how the voting for Best Celebration ended up, with the percentage gained alongside the top three:
Second place went to Lomana Lua Lua for his acrobatic celebration, the Congolese striker regularly following up his goals with a series of back flips and then a somersault to finish.
It was at Newcastle United that Lua Lua, who was a talented junior gymnast, became famous for the celebration, and he later continued the party piece at Portsmouth.
Hull City's Jimmy Bullard finished third after his memorable goal against Manchester City in the 2009/10 season.
A year before, Hull boss Phil Brown had delivered his half-time teamtalk at Man City on the pitch, so disgusted was he with his team for being 4-0 down.
So when Bullard slotted in a late penalty to earn Hull a point 11 months on, he poked fun at his manager by getting his team-mates to sit around him and stand there wagging his finger at them in mock disappointment.
There were 300,000 fans who voted in the Premier League 20 Seasons Awards casting over 4.2m votes in five categories: Goal, Match, Save, Goal Celebration and Fantasy Team of the 20 Seasons.
In addition, there are also six panel categories: Player, Manager, Team, Season, Most Memorable Quote and Fantasy Team of the 20 Seasons.
The winners are being announced leading up to Tuesday May 15th, when there is a special presentation ceremony to honour several winners and the the Player and Manager of the 20 Seasons Awards will be announced.