|Full name:||Eric Daniel Pierre Cantona|
|Date of birth:||May 24, 1966|
|Clubs played for:||Auxerre, Martigues, Marseille, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nimes, Leeds, Manchester United|
Eric Cantona's move from Leeds to Manchester United in November 1992 will go down in history as one of the greatest bargains of all-time. At just £1.2million, he turned out to be an absolute steal, as he inspired the Red Devils to a wealth of domestic success. He had enjoyed success in France before his move across the Channel, notably with Marseille, but it was at Old Trafford that his legacy was truly established.
The 'enfant terrible' of French football did not have the international career his talents warranted. Never fully trusted by the authorities in his home country, he played in only one major tournament - the 1992 European Championship. He could surely have been part of his country's 1998 World Cup success on home soil, but his nine-month ban in 1995 and the emergence of Zinedine Zidane in the playmaker's role scuppered those hopes.
International Career Stats
Manchester United 2-2 Liverpool (Premier League, October 1, 1995)
Come on, we all knew it was going to happen, didn't we? After nine months on the sidelines as a result of his ban for aiming a kung-fu kick at Crystal Palace fan, Matthew Simmons, Cantona returned to the United team. And, right on cue, as if it were written in the stars, he netted the equalising penalty in the 71st minute to force a 2-2 draw.
Newcastle 0-1 Manchester United (Premier League, March 4, 1996)
The Red Devils went into this game at St James' Park trailing league leaders Newcastle by four points and anxious not to let the gap at the top grow any bigger. Enter centre stage: Eric Cantona. The Frenchman provided the game's decisive moment with a 51st minute volley to seal the points - and marked the beginning of the end for Kevin Keegan that resulted in his infamous "I would love it..." implosion on live TV.
Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool (FA Cup final, May 11, 1966)
Before the match, it was Liverpool's 'Spice Boys' who grabbed the spotlight with their white suits, but it was Eric Cantona who made the headlines that mattered with the winning goal - a well-controlled volley from the edge of the penalty area - five minutes from time as United completed a second League and Cup double inside three seasons.
|Marseille||French Championship||1988-89, 1990-91|
|Leeds||First Division Championship||1991-92|
|Manchester United||Premier League||1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97|
|FA Cup||1994, 1996|
|PFA Players' Player of the Year||1994|
|Football Writers' Footballer of the Year||1996|
Did You Know...?
In September 1988, Cantona was banned from international football for a year after swearing at national coach, Henri Michel, in a TV interview.
Cantona had to take a year out of football in 1984 - to do his national service.
Cantona was voted United's Player of the Century in a fans' poll in 2001.
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