Friday, November 04, 2005

Eric Cantona... The King, The Legend, The Idol...

The man was the most brilliant and influential player of his time. No other player could match his flair and character on and off the field. Opponents feared him, teammates idolised him, and fans worshiped him. Eric Cantona wasn’t just another player; he was the God of Football in England. For me, he’s the undisputed player of the century. If you’ve seen him play, you would defiantly agree with me.

Name: Eric Cantona
Height: 1.88m (6'2")
Weight: 88kg
Born: Marseille, France
Date Of Birth: May 24, 1966


  • AJ Auxerre
  • FC Martigues
  • Olympique Marseille
  • Bordeaux
  • Montpellier
  • Olympique NĂ®mes
  • Leeds United
  • Manchester United

International Debut:
12th August 1987 versus West Germany

International Caps/Goals:
43 Caps/20 Goals

Signed for Manchester United: 27th November 1992.

First Appearance for Manchester United: Versus Benfica in Lisbon, 1st December 1992, a testimonial match for Eusebio.

League Debut for Manchester United: As substitute versus Manchester City, 6th December 1992; United won 2-1.

Appearances Vs. Goal Scored for Manchester United:
App: 182 Goals: 80


  • European Under-21 Championship for France (1988)
  • French Cup for Montpellier (1990)
  • French League for Marseille (1991)
  • English Division One for Leeds (1992)
  • Premier League for Manchester United (1993, 1994, 1996, 1997)
  • FA Cup for Manchester United (1994, 1996)
  • PFA Player of the Year (1994)
  • Footballer of the Year (1996)

Career Highlights:

  • 1983: Makes professional debut for Auxerre
  • 1985: Loaned to Martigues after making just 13 appearances and scoring two goals in three seasons for Auxerre.
  • 1986: Returned to Auxerre and over the next two seasons made 68 appearances and scored 21 goals.
  • 1987: Receives heavy fine for punching his team's goalkeeper, giving him a black eye. Makes his debut for France against West Germany.
  • 1988: Joins Marseille in French record £2million deal. Banned from French team for one year after swearing at national coach Henri Michel .
  • 1989: Suspended indefinitely by Marseille after kicking the ball into the crowd and throwing his shirt at a referee after being substituted. Joins Bordeaux on loan, then moves to Montpellier for £300,000.
  • 1990: Banned by Montpellier for 10 days after smashing his boots into the face of team-mate Jean Claude Lemoult. Returns to Marseille.
  • 1991: Signs for Nimes but is banned for three games after throwing the ball at a referee. At the disciplinary hearing, he walks up to each committee member and says: "Idiot". His ban is increased to two months, so Cantona responds by announcing his retirement from soccer.
  • 1992: Comes out of retirement for a trial with Sheffield Wednesday, but walks out after being asked to remain for a further week and joins Leeds for £900,000. Helps the Elland Road side win the League title before moving to Manchester United in £1.2million deal.
  • 1993: Fined £1,000 by the FA for spitting at a Leeds fan in his first game back at Elland Road with Manchester United, whom he then helps to the Premiership title. Sent off in United's European Cup defeat by Galatasaray in Istanbul, Turkey, for accusing the referee of cheating, scuffles with Turkish police and is banned by UEFA for four European games.
  • 1994: Scores two goals in the 4-0 FA Cup final over Chelsea as United complete the League and Cup double. Voted PFA Player of the Year.
  • 1995: Sent off at Crystal Palace on January 25 after a Kung-Fu kick at fan Matthew Simmons. His actions lead to him being banned from all football until September 30 and fined £10,000 by the FA. A two-week prison sentence for the offence is varied on appeal to 120 hours of community service. Returns to action on October 1 and scores a penalty in a 2-2 draw against Liverpool.
  • 1996: Voted Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers Association and scores winning goal in FA Cup final against Liverpool as United complete the double for the second time in three seasons.
  • 1997: Member of a championship-winning side for the fifth time in six seasons but a week after the Premiership finale, announces his retirement from professional soccer at the age of 30.