Eric Cantona

Eric Cantona, one of football's all-time greats, is renowned for his charisma and incredible skills. Discover more about Cantona's legacy, achievements, and accolades.


Eric Cantona is one of football’s greatest ever. A major part of Manchester United’s successes over two decades, Cantona earned himself numerous awards. His intensity on the field, fierce temper and uncompromising opinions off it are what make him unforgettable; an inspiring tale about his career, life and humble beginnings. Eric Cantona: an unforgettable figure.

Early Life

Eric Cantona was born in Marseille, France and began his football career at Auxerre in 1983. Soon thereafter he gained recognition as one of France’s premier talents, before signing for Montpellier HSC in 1987 where his true talents shone brightest before eventually moving onto Marseille Ligue 1. After two successful years there he made a move back into Ligue 1.
Cantona’s time at Marseille was short-lived. After just 12 appearances for Marseille, Cantona joined Leeds United and saw immediate results at Elland Road with them winning their first league title since 1974. Following that season he then made the move to Manchester United as part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s legendary team where he went on to win four Premier League championships and two FA Cup trophies during five years at Old Trafford.
Influence on English football cannot be overstated; his charisma and skill made him one of the most beloved figures ever seen playing the game. Even now, his legacy remains felt throughout English football – something sure to continue for many years to come.

Professional Football Career

Eric Cantona was an iconic professional footballer renowned for his long and impressive career. Beginning his career with Auxerre and then Marseille in France before making the leap to England where he joined Leeds United. While at Leeds he won both first division titles and Footballer of the Year honors before attracting Manchester United’s attention. They offered him his services starting November 1992.
Eric Cantona established himself as one of the key figures in Manchester United history during his five-year spell, winning four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and two League Cups during that time. Fans and professionals voted him Player of the Year during 1994/95. Alongside this success on the pitch, Cantona was also widely popular due to his charisma and outspoken nature off it.
Eric Cantona retired from professional football in 1997, yet remains an iconic figure of English football history. His impact can still be felt today through various initiatives like The Eric Cantona Foundation which works to support deprived communities around the globe.

Post-Football Career

Since his retirement from football in 1997, Eric Cantona has kept himself busy with various endeavors outside the sport. The former Manchester United and France star has ventured into acting, music production, writing and more since leaving football behind.
Cantona first achieved success as an actor after appearing in Ken Loach’s award-winning film Looking For Eric (2009), since which time he has appeared in numerous films, television series and video games as an actor or director (including co-writing/directing the forthcoming sequel Looking For Eric: The Legacy (2019).
Cantona has not only distinguished himself through acting, but he has also released three albums of spoken word poetry accompanied by music. Additionally, he has written multiple books such as My Story (2008) and Rebellion (2018).
Cantona has always been dedicated to social justice issues and has frequently used his platform to raise awareness on topics like racism in sport and poverty. In 2011 he was appointed Director of Soccer at the New York Cosmos, helping build their youth academy program.
Cantona remains involved with football through roles such as ambassador for UEFA Euro 2016 and 2020. His post-football legacy speaks for itself.

Personal Life

Eric Cantona is best known for his legendary footballing career; however, outside of that sphere he also leads an interesting and varied personal life.
Cantona moved from Marseille to Paris when he was just 16 to pursue his dream of becoming a professional footballer. Soon enough he was playing for some of France’s premier clubs like Auxerre and Montpellier before making the leap overseas with Leeds United before finally ending up as one of Manchester United’s legendary all-time players.
Cantona has been deeply engaged with many activities outside the football pitch during his life. In 2000, he released the movie ‘Looking for Eric’ which won numerous international awards and appeared in films such as Elizabeth and Les Ailes de l’Amour. Additionally, Cantona remains active philanthropically by supporting various charities across Europe.
Cantona has become increasingly vocal about supporting social causes such as climate change and human rights issues in recent years, collecting art by such artists as Banksy and Damien Hirst.
Eric Cantona is an individual of many talents off the pitch who continues to make an important difference through his efforts on and off the pitch.


Eric Cantona stands as one of the greatest figures in football history. Former Manchester United and France international forward Eric Cantona will forever be remembered for his amazing skill, passion and charisma on the pitch – which were instrumental to their success during his five year stint at Old Trafford in helping United win four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League crowns in that era.
Off the pitch, he made headlines for his outspoken nature and rebellious attitude. His quote that seagulls follow trawlers because they think sardines will be dumped into the sea has since become part of footballing legend.
His legacy continues to live on, with many players citing him as an influence. He will forever be one of Manchester United’s finest ever players and will always be revered as a true sporting legend.


Eric Cantona was known for his controversial personality and outbursts during his time playing for Manchester United and French National Team. This included some of the most infamous outbursts ever witnessed on football fields worldwide. In 1995, he caused much outrage after launching a kung-fu style kick at a Crystal Palace fan following his dismissal during an English Premier League match. For this act of violence he received a nine month suspension from football as well as two weeks imprisonment sentence. Not content to just make headlines with his play on the field, he also became embroiled in skirmishes with other players and frequent verbal exchanges with journalists and referees – yet his undeniable talent made him one of the greatest figures in Manchester United fans’ memories and cemented him a place amongst legendary figures of their history.

Philanthropy and Activism

Eric Cantona is more than just a footballer; the former Manchester United player has not only left an indelible mark on the pitch but has also made an indelible mark through philanthropy and activism.
As a philanthropist, Cantona has supported various charities that assist disadvantaged youth. He’s donated money and spoken out against social issues such as homelessness and poverty. Additionally, Eric Cantona established the Eric Cantona Foundation in 2008 in order to assist vulnerable children around the globe.
Cantona is also an advocate, using his platform to advocate on behalf of those without one. In 2010, he joined Greenpeace’s fight against climate change by supporting renewable energy sources and advocating against fossil fuel dependency. Furthermore, Cantona is very vocal on human rights issues related to refugees and migrants.
Eric Cantona stands as an admirable role model both on and off the field with his dedication to giving back, which truly remarkable and heartening.

Endorsements and Public Appearances

Eric Cantona is an iconic French footballer renowned for his successful and long career both on and off the pitch. Most notably at Manchester United in the early 1990s where he won four Premier League titles and two FA Cups; since then he has become an ambassador of football with product endorsements and public appearances around the world.
Cantona has endorsed Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Gatorade products; his endorsements have also appeared in television commercials for several of these companies. Furthermore, he was the brand ambassador for UEFA Euro 2016, making numerous public appearances during the tournament; also serving as ambassador for UEFA Euro 2020 as well.
Cantona has used his fame to advocate for various causes throughout his career. In 2013, UNESCO appointed him a Goodwill Ambassador for sports education; additionally he has donated time and support to organizations like Unicef France that aid underprivileged children from developing nations gain access to education.
Cantona has made multiple guest appearances at events over the past few years, such as The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in 2017 and 2018. Additionally, he makes regular charity events across Europe to raise funds for different causes related to sport and education.
Eric Cantona remains one of the world’s foremost figures in football today through his endorsements and public appearances around the globe. His impact will surely continue to shape football for years to come.

Awards and Accolades

Eric Cantona was an icon in the footballing world, winning multiple awards and accolades during his storied career as an international French player and Manchester United forward. Cantona will always be remembered for his skill on the pitch as well as for his controversial behavior off it.
Cantona received the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player of the Year honor in 1994-195, and was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame the following year. Additionally, he won four Premier League titles with Manchester United as well as two FA Cups, three Charity Shields, one UEFA Champions League championship title, and one Intercontinental Cup trophy – in addition to which he was twice elected French Player of the Year (1991 & 1993).
Cantona was honored for his influence on football culture by being honored with the UEFA President’s Award in 2008. This prestigious accolade honors individuals who have made significant contributions to European football.
Eric Cantona earned numerous accolades throughout his career that solidified his status as one of the greatest footballers ever to grace a football pitch.


Eric Cantona was an iconic figure in football history. During his five-year run with Manchester United, he earned four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and three Charity Shields – earning himself legendary status among fans for both his style of play and outspoken personality. Here are some memorable quotes from this Manchester United icon.
“I don’t consider myself to be a king, but neither am I commoner.”
When seagulls follow my trawler they do so because they think sardines will be released into the sea from it.”
My favorite moment? Many exist; my personal favourite would have to be when I kicked an hooligan off an aircraft carrier.”
“Football is my art; I feel spiritual when playing.” “Was this my fault? Maybe, but not mine.” If you give all you can for your team then no one should judge or criticise your efforts.”
These quotes demonstrate why Eric Cantona remains a beloved figure within football and will forever remain a Manchester United legend.


Eric Cantona is one of the greatest footballers in history. His groundbreaking ideas revolutionized how teams were managed and played the game, leading him to become a cult figure for millions around the world with his charismatic leadership, enthusiasm and skill on the pitch. While criticised, Cantona never shied away from sharing his opinions – often times contradicting himself on-field! Despite all this criticism, Cantona always kept his cool under pressure.

Cantona’s time at Manchester United was brief, yet his legacy will endure in years to come. During his tenure at Old Trafford, he led United to four consecutive Premier League titles and two FA Cup wins – his presence on the pitch aiding teammates and opponents alike in crucial victories. With such a legacy behind him, it will be hard for Cantona not to leave an imprint on the club’s future success.

Eric Cantona has become a beacon of courage and inspiration off the field due to his outspokenness and charisma. Through this platform he has spoken out against racism, homophobia and discrimination based on gender; serving as an inspiration to thousands who face hardships in either their professional lives or everyday lives.

His legacy will be forever immortalized in footballing history books as well as popular cultural works. His drive for leadership at Manchester United changed the game forever and continues to inspire players around the globe with his style of play and attitude towards life. We salute Eric Cantona – may you rest in peace!

Football legend Eric Cantona should never be forgotten or disregarded. His attacking football style revolutionized how English teams were played and inspired players with his words both on and off the field. Eric Cantona’s legacy will live on as we commemorate him as one of England’s greatest ever footballers.

Frequently asked questions

Who is Eric Cantona?

Eric Cantona was an iconic French professional soccer player who made appearances with clubs such as Manchester United, Leeds United and Marseille during his playing career. Known for his swagger on the pitch and fiery personality – Cantona became one of the premier league era’s most revered figures, winning Footballer of the Year honors in 1994. Eric is best remembered by his famous quote that seagulls follow trawlers because they think that some sardines will be released into the sea!

What teams did Eric Cantona play for during his career?

Eric Cantona enjoyed an exceptional professional career. Starting off at Auxerre in France before relocating to Leeds United for two years before joining Manchester United where he quickly established himself as one of their iconic players before ending it all with Montpellier back home in France.

What awards has Eric Cantona won?

Eric Cantona has received many honors throughout his career, from winning four consecutive Premier League titles with Manchester United (1992-1995) and being selected Footballer of the Year, to induction into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and being recognized by FourFourTwo magazine as one of the greatest living footballers. Additionally, in 2017 Queen Elizabeth II honored Eric with an OBE (Officer of the Order of British Empire).

How did Eric Cantona become a cult hero at Manchester United?

Eric Cantona achieved legendary status at Manchester United due to his skill on the pitch, creative personality and charismatic persona. An integral member of their four Premier League championship-winning squad during five years’ play-off campaign in 1995-96 (scoring 64 goals in 143 appearances and making headlines with his iconic kung-fu kick against Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons during one match), Eric became an iconic figure among fans that remain connected with Manchester United to this day. His post-match quotes often made headlines and his post-match quotes often made headlines and headlines as they generated headlines from post-match interviews which continue today as iconic figure associated with them both teams despite having lost their main player from those years (Alexander made more famous due to being associated with Manchester United as opposed to playing Palace fan Simmons in 1995), contributing 64 goals in 143 matches while scoring 64 goals himself from 143 appearances!). Eric remains associated with Manchester United to this day and remains iconic figure that remains associated with them today!

What was the infamous 'kung-fu kick' incident involving Eric Cantona?

Eric Cantona became famous after engaging in his now infamous two-footed “kung-fu kick” incident on January 25th 1995 during a Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace. Following receiving a red card for lashing out at opposing player, Cantona responded to taunts from one of his fan in the stands by launching himself into the crowd with two footed “kung-fu kick.” Following this act he received an eight month football suspension as well as 120 hours community service service obligation.

How did Eric Cantona contribute to Manchester United's success in the 1990s?

Eric Cantona played a vital role in Manchester United’s success during the 1990s. After joining from Leeds United in 1992, he quickly established himself as one of the club’s key figures at Old Trafford. His leadership, technical skill and flair on the ball were essential in turning United into a title-winning side. His inspirational spark gave teammates confidence to go out on the pitch and perform. He scored many crucial goals that ultimately determined matches, including two decisive strikes against Blackburn Rovers that secured United the Premier League championship in 1996. Off the pitch, Eric Cantona was an integral figure for young players such as David Beckham and Ryan Giggs, providing guidance and mentoring that enabled them to reach their full potential as world-class footballers. Eric Cantona played an immense role in Manchester United’s success during this era; indeed he will go down as one of their great ever players.

What other activities has Eric Cantona been involved in since retiring from football?

Since retiring from football in 1997, Eric Cantona has engaged in an array of activities. From feature films like Elizabeth and Les Infideles to television appearances on Le Grand Journal in France and Dream Team in Britain he has taken part in many endeavors ranging from acting roles to direct two short films like Looking For Eric (2009) and The Redemption Of General Butt Naked (2011).
Cantona is also an active philanthropist, working closely with organizations like Unicef to raise awareness about poverty and inequality. He serves as patron of Manchester United Foundation and was honored with an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II for his services to football. Furthermore, he acts as UNICEF Ambassador as well as supporting various charitable causes worldwide.
Cantona has served as brand ambassador for many reputable companies such as Nike, EA Sports and Hublot watches in recent years. Additionally, he currently advises the board at Leeds United Football Club.

Is Eric Cantona still involved with Manchester United today?

Eric Cantona is no longer involved with Manchester United; since retiring from professional football in 1997 he has focused his time and attention on acting. In 2017, however, he was appointed an international ambassador of the club; this role involves representing them globally rather than engaging directly in day-to-day operations.

How many goals did Eric Cantona score in his career?

Eric Cantona amassed an incredible total of 88 goals over his career – this includes 79 club goals and 9 international goals.

What was the reaction to Eric Cantona's retirement from football at the time?

At Eric Cantona’s retirement from football in 1997, Manchester United fans were shocked and dismayed. He had become one of the most beloved figures at Old Trafford and his contribution could not be overstated; having won four Premier League titles alongside being part of an invincible squad known as ‘The Invincibles’; his departure was seen as an irreparable blow for their chances of further success.
Eric Cantona’s retirement has drawn much media coverage across England and Europe, with pundits and journalists alike paying their respects to him as a career player. Furthermore, fellow players recognized and respected him both on and off the pitch; ultimately it’s clear that Eric Cantona’s departure from football has been met with shock, sadness and admiration by those who followed his career closely.

Has Eric Cantona ever been inducted into any hall of fame for his achievements in football?

Eric Cantona was honored with induction into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 for his extraordinary contributions to English football, one of only a select few who has received this prestigious recognition.

Does Eric Cantona have any other notable records or achievements outside of football?

Eric Cantona has found success outside football as well. As an actor he starred in movies such as Looking for Eric and Elizabeth and numerous television series. Additionally he was an accomplished artist exhibiting their works internationally while serving numerous charities and causes through philanthropy.

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