Eric Cantona Profile

Eric Cantona

Eric Dan­iel Pierre Can­tona, born Mar­seille, Fran­ce, May 24, 1966. Dur­ing his some­how bit­ter­sweet pro­fes­sion­al ca­reer, Eric Can­tona ap­peared forAux­erre, Mar­tigues, Mar­seille, Bor­deaux, Mont­pel­li­er, Nimes, Leeds Uni­ted, and Man­chester Uni­ted. Can­tona also played for the coun­try of his bir­th, clock­ing up a re­spect­able 20 goals in 45 seni­or appearances.

Eric Dan­iel Pierre Can­tona was born in the old city of Mar­seille in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur re­gion to fath­er Al­bert Can­tona and moth­er Ele­onore Raurich. Al­ways a man for the oc­ca­sion, Can­tona be­came on­ly the third play­er to score three goals for Man­chester Uni­ted in FA Cup fi­nals, along wi­th Wales stri­ker Ma­rk Hug­hes and Three Li­ons in­ter­na­tion­al Bry­an Rob­son. Af­ter call­ing it a day at the end of the 1996-97 sea­son, he pur­sued a ca­reer in the film busi­ness and would la­ter join North Amer­ic­an Soc­cer Lea­gue out­fit New York Cos­mos as Dir­ect­or of Soc­cer in 2011. The French in­ter­na­tion­al was on the books of sev­er­al clubs be­fore the lav­ishly gif­ted foot­baller ev­entually fou­nd his spir­itu­al ho­me at Man­chester Uni­ted. Can­tona star­ted out at AJ Aux­erre and made his com­pet­it­ive de­but for the club in a 4–0 French Lea­gue One suc­cess ag­ainst AS Nancy at the St­ade de l’Abbe-Deschamps on the 5th of Nov­ember 1983. The gif­ted young­ster was shipped out on loan to French Sec­ond Di­vi­sion si­de FC Mar­tigues in 1985, but he would re­join AJ Aux­erre the fol­low­ing year. Af­ter sign­ing a pro­fes­sion­al con­tract wi­th AJA, Eric Can­tona would go on to score a re­spect­able 23 goals dur­ing 82 Lea­gue One mat­ches for the Bur­gundy club be­fore he agreed to join for­ces wi­th Bern­ard Tapie´s Olym­pique Mar­seille te­am at the be­gin­ning of the 1988-89 sea­son. Whi­le at St­ade Ve­lo­drome, Eric Can­tona con­trib­uted a total of thir­teen hits dur­ing forty La Cham­pi­on­nat ap­pear­ances for Olym­pique Mar­seille and the prodi­gious front­man won the French Lea­gue One Cham­pi­on­ship title wi­th Les Pho­ceens in 1988-89 and 1990-91. His days wi­th Olym­pique Mar­seille were numb­ered, how­ever, when Bernand Tapie de­cided to re­place man­ager Franz Beck­en­bauer wi­th for­mer An­der­lecht, Bor­deaux, Sao Paulo, Roy­al Stand­ard de Liege, Vit­or­ia, Ra­cing Jet Brus­sels and Bel­gi­um su­premo Ray­mond Goeth­als, and the rest­less and way­ward fron­trun­ner was sub­sequently trans­ferred to fel­low French Lea­gue One club Olym­pique Nimes at the be­gin­ning of the 1991-92 campaign.

Af­ter a bit­ter and lengthy con­flict wi­th the Foot­ball As­so­ci­ation of Fran­ce, Eric Can­tona was ad­vised by his psy­chi­at­rist to move to Leeds Uni­ted where the al­ways out­spoken, but nev­er bor­ing, play­er would help the suc­cess starving West York­shire out­fit win the Fir­st Di­vi­sion Cham­pi­on­ship for the fir­st time in eight­een years. Come Nov­ember 1992, and the trig­ger happy sharp­shoot­er was sur­pris­ingly pla­ced on the trans­fer list by Leeds boss How­ard Wilkin­son and was sold to long­time ad­versar­ies Man­chester Uni­ted for the mod­est fee of £1.2 mil­lion. Evid­ently, the deal in­curred the sin­cere wrath of the El­land Road faith­ful and he was tar­geted wi­th boo­ing and jeer­ing every time he played ag­ainst his pre­vi­ous em­ploy­ers. En­thu­si­ast­ic and ebul­li­ent, he was a key pil­lar of the on­go­ing re­volu­tion that trans­formed the Man­chester Uni­ted si­de from be­ing a bunch of un­der­achiev­ers to be­come a ma­jor force once ag­ain. The Gal­lic goal plun­der­er par ex­cel­lence was han­ded his de­but for Uni­ted when he entered the field as a sec­ond ha­lf sub­sti­tute for Ry­an Gig­gs in a 2-1 Fir­st Di­vi­sion tri­umph ag­ainst rivals Man­chester City at Old Traf­ford on the 6th of Dec­ember 1992 and the dy­nam­ic and power­ful nature of his per­son­al­ity in­stant­an­eously made him a mas­sive fa­vour­ite wi­th the sup­port­ers of the club. Blessed wi­th bo­th flair and de­term­in­a­tion, Can­tona was also highly re­spec­ted by bo­th his Man­chester Uni­ted team­mates and his op­pos­ing play­ers in the Pre­mier Lea­gue. The French­man was an ex­tremely tal­en­ted play­er who wor­ked in tan­dem wi­th Man­chester Uni­ted su­premo Sir Al­ex Fer­guson to fill up the trophy cab­in­et at Old Traf­ford and he forged a cor­di­al re­la­tion­ship wi­th the am­bi­tious and de­mand­ing head coach over the years. And des­pite be­ing sen­tenced to 120 hours of com­munity ser­vice af­ter kick­ing a spec­tat­or dur­ing a Pre­mier Lea­gue clash wi­th Crys­tal Pal­ace at Sel­hurst Park on the 25th of Jan­uary 1995, the loy­al le­gion­naire played a vi­tal part in the re­viv­al of the sleep­ing gi­ant and was an in­teg­ral con­stitu­ent of the great te­am of the 1990´s.

The Mar­seil­lais was also an in­spir­a­tion­al lead­er of men and a win­ner on the foot­ball field and his con­tri­bu­tion to Man­chester Uni­ted simply can­not be un­der­es­tim­ated. One of Eric Cantona´s ab­so­lute high­lights as an Old Traf­ford play­er was with­out a doubt the 1996 FA Cup Fi­nal ag­ainst Roy Evans´s Liver­pool si­de at Wemb­ley Sta­dium when he pro­duced the on­ly goal of the con­test wi­th a mere five min­utes re­maining on mat­ch of­fi­cial Dermot Galla­gh­ers watch. The fir­st great chan­ce of the mat­ch fell to Man­chester Uni­ted when a flick from Eric Can­tona presen­ted for­mer New­castle Uni­ted fa­vour­ite Andy Cole wi­th a golden op­por­tun­ity to score. But in front of a 79,000 crowd at Wemb­ley, the anxious at­tack­er failed to hit the ball prop­erly and it came to noth­ing at all. The An­field­ers hit back in style when Stan Col­ly­more al­most opened the scor­ing, put­ting Pe­ter Schmei­chel in the Man­chester Uni­ted goal to the test wi­th a fierce drive at goal. Shortly af­ter the break, Uni­ted star­ted the sec­ond ha­lf on the front foot and Liver­pool net­mind­er Da­vid Ja­mes dis­played a piece of su­perb goal­keep­ing when the denied Man­chester Uni­ted cap­tain Eric Can­tona a goal wi­th a su­perb save. The Mer­sey­siders had an op­por­tun­ity to take the lead when Jam­ie Red­knapp fired a tre­mend­ous shot goal­wards, but the ball went straight at Man­chester Uni­ted goal­keeper Pe­ter Schmei­chel. Af­ter spend­ing most of the af­ter­noon squan­der­ing qual­ity scor­ing chances, Cole was ev­entually sub­sti­tuted by mid­field en­gin­eer Paul Scho­les in the 63rd min­ute of the tie. Cometh the hour, cometh the skip­per, and Ferguson´s Uni­ted troops fi­nally got the win­ner when Can­tona ma­naged to score the on­ly goal of the en­cou­ner in the 85th min­ute of play. Wi­th on­ly five min­utes left, Ja­mes tried to punch a cor­ner clear and the ball landed at the feet of the goal poach­er who fou­nd the back of the net wi­th a tre­mend­ous right-footed ha­lf vol­ley. Al­though hardly a clas­sic FA Cup Fi­nal, Can­tona made it all up by pro­du­cing the goal that won Man­chester Uni­ted a sec­ond double in three seasons.

In total, Eric Can­tona ac­cu­mu­lated a highly cred­ible 64 goals in 143 Pre­mier Lea­gue ap­pear­ances for Man­chester Uni­ted and the ec­cent­ric and icon­ic artist ma­naged to win the Pre­miership in 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96 and 1996–97, in­clud­ing the Double of Lea­gue and FA Cup in bo­th 1993-94 and 1995-96, the FA Cup in 1994 and 1996 and the FA Char­ity Shield in 1993, 1994 and 1996. The King of Man­chester Uni­ted was de­servedly named as the Pro­fes­sion­al Foot­ballers’ As­so­ci­ation Play­ers’ Play­er of the Year in 1993-94 and the Foot­ball Writers’ As­so­ci­ation Foot­baller of the Year in 1995-96 be­fore the at­tack­er de­cided to make a some­what sur­prise re­tire­ment an­nounce­ment at the com­par­at­ively young age of thirty at the end of the Cham­pi­on­ship win­ning cam­paign of 1996-97. An in­ter­na­tion­al for Fran­ce, he earned his seni­or de­but for the coun­try of his bir­th in a 2-1 de­feat ag­ainst his­tor­ic­al en­emies West Ger­many at the Ber­liner Olympiasta­di­on on the 12th of Au­gust 1987 and pro­ceeded to play in 45 ga­mes for Les Bleus, bag­ging a grand total of 20 goals dur­ing the pro­cess. Al­ways pos­sess­ing the cre­at­ive im­per­at­ive, he would give per­form­ances that most mod­ern day play­ers could on­ly dream to emu­late and the nat­ur­al born en­ter­tain­er was prob­ably the on­ly foot­baller to this very day that ac­tu­ally could be com­pared to Samuel Tay­lor Col­eridge. A man of sev­er­al pas­sions, Eric Can­tona also shared the same in­terest in the fish­ing in­dustry as the fam­ous poet. Eric Can­tona Play­ing Ca­reer: AJ Aux­erre, FC Mar­tigues, Olym­pique Mar­seille, FC Girond­ins de Bor­deaux, Mont­pel­li­er HSC, Nimes Olym­pique, Leeds Uni­ted, Man­chester Uni­ted. Play­ing Hon­ours: French Lea­gue One 1989, 1991, French Cup 1990, Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Fir­st Di­vi­sion 1992, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, Eng­lish FA Cup 1994, 1996, FA Char­ity Shield 1992,1993, 1994, 1996, UEFA Euro­pean U21 Cham­pi­on­ship 1988.


Eric Cantona Quickfacts

In 2009, Eric Can­tona ap­peared in the Brit­ish-French film Look­ing for Eric, which tells the story of a Man­chester Uni­ted sup­port­er who tries to es­cape from every­day prob­lems and troubles.


Manchester United Appearances

Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Man­chester City 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Nor­wich City 0
Chel­sea 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Shef­field Wed­nesday 3 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 5 Cov­entry City 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Bury 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 4 Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Not­ting­ham For­est 0
Ips­wich To­wn 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Shef­field Uni­ted 1
Leeds Uni­ted 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 South­ampton 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Middles­brough 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 As­ton Vil­la 1
Man­chester City 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Ar­senal 0
Nor­wich City 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Shef­field Wed­nesday 1
Cov­entry City 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Chel­sea 0
Crys­tal Pal­ace 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Black­burn Rov­ers 1
Wim­bledon 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Ar­senal 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
South­ampton 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 West Ham Uni­ted 0
Chel­sea 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Kispest-Hon­ved 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Ar­senal 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 4 Swin­don To­wn 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Kispest-Hon­ved 1
Shef­field Wed­nesday 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Gal­ata­s­aray 3
Ever­ton 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Queens Park Ran­gers 1
Gal­ata­s­aray 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Man­chester City 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Wim­bledon 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Ips­wich To­wn 0
Cov­entry City 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Ever­ton 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Nor­wich City 2
Shef­field Uni­ted 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
New­castle Uni­ted 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 As­ton Vil­la 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Black­burn Rov­ers 1
Old­ham Ath­let­ic 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 5
Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Leeds Uni­ted 0
Liver­pool 3 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Shef­field Uni­ted 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Ports­mouth 2
Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Ever­ton 0
Ports­mouth 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Nor­wich City 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Queens Park Ran­gers 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Shef­field Wed­nesday 0
Wim­bledon 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
West Ham Uni­ted 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Charl­ton Ath­let­ic 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 5 Shef­field Wed­nesday 0
Swin­don To­wn 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Ar­senal 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
As­ton Vil­la 3 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Liver­pool 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Man­chester City 0
Leeds Uni­ted 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Ips­wich To­wn 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 South­ampton 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Cov­entry City 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 4 Chel­sea 0
Black­burn Rov­ers 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Wim­bledon 0
Leeds Uni­ted 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Liver­pool 0
Ips­wich To­wn 3 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Ever­ton 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 West Ham Uni­ted 0
Black­burn Rov­ers 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 4
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 New­castle Uni­ted 0
As­ton Vil­la 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 5 Man­chester City 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Crys­tal Pal­ace 0
IFK Gote­borg 3 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Ar­senal 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Nor­wich City 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 4 Gal­ata­s­aray 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Not­ting­ham For­est 2
Chel­sea 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Lei­cester City 1
South­ampton 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Cov­entry City 0
Shef­field Uni­ted 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
New­castle Uni­ted 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Black­burn Rov­ers 0
Crys­tal Pal­ace 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Liver­pool 2
York City 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Chel­sea 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 4
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Middles­brough 0
Ar­senal 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 4 South­ampton 1
Cov­entry City 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 4
Not­ting­ham For­est 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Chel­sea 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Shef­field Wed­nesday 2
Liver­pool 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Leeds Uni­ted 3 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 New­castle Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Queens Park Ran­gers 1
Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 4 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Sun­der­land 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 0 As­ton Vil­la 0
Sun­der­land 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
West Ham Uni­ted 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Read­ing 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Wim­bledon 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 4
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Black­burn Rov­ers 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Man­chester City 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Ever­ton 0
Bol­ton Wan­derers 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 6
New­castle Uni­ted 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 South­ampton 0
Queens Park Ran­gers 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Ar­senal 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Chel­sea 1
Man­chester City 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Cov­entry City 0
South­ampton 3 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Leeds Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 5 Not­ting­ham For­est 0
Middles­brough 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Liver­pool 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 4 New­castle Uni­ted 0
Wim­bledon 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Ever­ton 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Black­burn Rov­ers 2
Der­by Coun­ty 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Leeds Uni­ted 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 4
Ju­ventus 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 4 Not­ting­ham For­est 1
As­ton Vil­la 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Rap­id Wien 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Liver­pool 0
Fen­er­bahçe 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
New­castle Uni­ted 5 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
South­ampton 6 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Fen­er­bahçe 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Chel­sea 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Ar­senal 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Ju­ventus 1
Middles­brough 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Lei­cester City 1
Rap­id Wien 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
West Ham Uni­ted 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Shef­field Wed­nesday 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 5 Sun­der­land 0
Not­ting­ham For­est 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 4
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Leeds Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 0 As­ton Vil­la 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 0
Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Cov­entry City 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Wim­bledon 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Wim­bledon 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 South­ampton 1
Wim­bledon 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Cov­entry City 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 4 FC Porto 0
Sun­der­land 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 1
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Shef­field Wed­nesday 0
FC Porto 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Ever­ton 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Der­by Coun­ty 3
Bor­us­sia Dort­mund 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 0
Black­burn Rov­ers 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Liver­pool 1 Man­chester Uni­ted 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Bor­us­sia Dort­mund 1
Lei­cester City 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 2
Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Middles­brough 3
Man­chester Uni­ted 0 New­castle Uni­ted 0
Man­chester Uni­ted 2 West Ham Uni­ted 0 2-0

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