Eric Cantona

From Academic Kids

ric Cantona (born May 24, 1966 in Marseille) is a former French footballer. He ended his professional footballing career at Manchester United where he won four Premiership titles in five years, including two FA Cup "doubles". Cantona is often regarded as having played a major role in the revival of Manchester United as a footballing powerhouse. In 2000 he was voted their player of the century, and to many United fans he is still "Eric the King".



Professional football career


Cantona played in France for first division team Olympique de Marseille (a.k.a. l'OM). He quite often showed sign of being "short tempered". During a friendly game against Torpedo Moscow Cantona ripped off and threw away his jersey after being substituted. His club responded by banning him for a month. A few weeks later he insulted the coach of the national team on TV.

Cantona moved to Bordeaux on loan and then to Montpellier where he won the French Cup. He returned to Marseille for a time but was transferred to Nimes. During a game he threw the ball at the referee, having been angered by one of his decisions. The French FA banned him for a month. Cantona responded by insulting them once again, and his ban was increased to 2 months. For Cantona this was the last straw and he decided to retire from football.

Thanks to pressure from high profile football fans Cantona was persuaded to make a comeback and moved to England to restart his career.


Cantona first joined Leeds United on his arrival in England in 1992 (after having originally come to England for a trial with Sheffield Wednesday), where he helped them win the old First Division championship that season (1991/92). The following November, he was transferred to Manchester United for a relatively small fee of 1.2 million pounds (then 1.86 million US Dollars). United's season had been disappointing up to then, as they had had problems scoring goals, partly caused by the sale of Mark Robins and an injury to Dion Dublin. However Cantona quickly settled into the team, not only scoring many goals but creating chances for the other players. For the next two years, United went on an amazing run, winning the league in 1993 and the double in 1994, with Cantona's two penalties helping them to a 4-0 win over Chelsea in the F.A. Cup final.

Cantona then became infamous for an incident that occurred in January 1995. In an away match against Crystal Palace, he launched a 'kung-fu' style kick against an abusive Crystal Palace fan after being sent off by the referee. At a press conference called later, Cantona gave what is perhaps his most famous quote. As the journalists gathered to hear him speak, Cantona entered the room, sat down and said in a slow and deliberate manner; "When the seagulls... follow the trawler... it's because they think... sardines will be thrown... into the sea". He then got up from his seat and left, leaving many of the assembled crowd bemused. He was sentenced to 120 hours of community service after an appeal court overturned a 2 week prison sentence for assault. He was also suspended by The Football Association until the following October.

There had been much speculation that Cantona would leave English football when his ban finished, but Alex Ferguson persuaded him to stay in Manchester and he was once again inspirational. United had sold several key players at the start of the season and replaced them with players from the club's youth team and, as in 1992, their prospects of winning the league were not looking good. Cantona scored a penalty against Liverpool in his first game after the ban, and his goals helped United to recapture the league having been ten points behind in December. He also scored the winning goal in that year's F.A. Cup final, making United the first team to win the double twice.

As United retained the league in 1996/97 season, Cantona had won six league titles in seven years, with the exception being the 1995 season which he had largely missed through suspension. At the end of the season, he surprisingly announced his retirement from football, at the age of 30. Shortly afterwards, he became captain of the French National Beach Football team.

Career in "retirement"

Cantona's subsequent career has mostly been in the French cinema, primarily as an actor although he has also directed a short film Apporte-moi ton amour in 2002; outside of France, he had a cameo as the French ambassador in the movie Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett in 1998. See filmography below.

Since retiring from professional football Cantona has appeared in numerous European television adverts, especially for Nike. In a worldwide advertising campaign during the run-up to the 2002 World Cup, he starred as the organiser of "underground" games between football superstars like Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Luis Figo. In an earlier UK Nike advert, he appeared playing "amateur" football on Hackney Marshes with other stars including Ian Wright, Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler. He also starred in an Irish euromillions ad.


For a full list of films Eric has appeared in see: Template:Imdb name

  • Le bonheur est dans le pré - 1995 - Lionel
  • Eleven Men Against Eleven - 1995 - Player (uncredited)
  • Elizabeth - 1998 - Monsieur le Foix
  • Mookie - 1998 - Antoine Capella
  • Les enfants du marais - 1999 - Jo Sardi
  • La grande vie! - 2001 - Joueur de pétanque 2
  • L'Outremangeur - 2003 - Séléna



External links

Preceded by:
Jrgen Klinsmann
Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by:
Gianfranco Zola
Preceded by:
Paul McGrath
PFA Players' Player of the Year
Succeeded by:
Alan Shearer

Template:End boxbg:Ерик Кантона de:Eric Cantona fr:ric Cantona ja:エリック・カントナ no:Eric Cantona pl:Eric Cantona pt:Eric Cantona sv:Eric Cantona


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