Eric Cantona appreciation thread

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Jim Beam

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There are players and there is Eric. A flawed genius, astonishing player and the man who started it all along with Fergie.

Perhaps a greatest example of Fergie's man management ever as we know by the stories.

Your thoughts and best memories about him? Long live the King.

 

Isotope

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Things becomes blurry over time. All I remember is I was attracted to United because of the King and ginger prince. United was all rock n' roll at that time.
 
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Chesterlestreet

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Perhaps a greatest example of Fergie's man management ever as we know by the stories.
Yep.

Has to be one of the greatest moves ever made by a manager bringing in an individual player - and then managing said player 100% correctly.

I don't care about the way it happened (whether it was a bit random, many inspired moves are a bit random) - but the move itself and the way it turned out...forget about it: it was genius - it was the sort of genius that characterizes great decision makers.
 

Red_toad

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A bloke who you’d want at your side going into battle. Most charismatic player I’ve ever seen on a football pitch. He was incredible talent. Very happy to have seen him play live on numerous occasions.
 

Forevergiggs1

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The final piece of SAFs puzzle that brought everything together. It could be argued a catalyst for all our future success. Eric Daniel Pierre Cantona. Or his name in shortened form. GOD which is still under rating him.
 

Jim Beam

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Yep.

Has to be one of the greatest moves ever made by a manager bringing in an individual player - and then managing said player 100% correctly.

I don't care about the way it happened (whether it was a bit random, many inspired moves are a bit random) - but the move itself and the way it turned out...forget about it: it was genius - it was the sort of genius that characterizes great decision makers.
There is a bit in one book (think it is Cantona The rebel but I might be wrong) where there is a part about Fergie allowing Cantona to come late or not in dress code and after a while when all the team was under the strict rule Eric suddenly changed and followed everything by the book...

It is actually quite fascinating. A man like Fergie strict in everything in his life to be able to understand what the player who is pretty much the opposite of him in terms of personality needed.
 

RUCK4444

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He is the reason I support United, as a kid I worshipped him, the king, the charismatic genius. I fell in love with the club from there.

No doubt he is the reason a generation of fans started following United.

The man was pure swagger on the pitch.
 

always_hoping

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Was the conductor of the orchestra. Collar up chest out, few players since or before had the charisma of Cantona.
 

Hoof The Ball

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I also think the criticism of him not doing the job for us in Europe is also very unfair. We could have won the CL in 93/94 and 94/95 if not for the three-foreigner limitation. By the time the ruling was scrapped, which came into play at the beginning of '96, he only had another season with the club until the end of '97 season and he played in a team that sold Hughes, Ince and Kanchelskis and was very much in transition with the influx of the Class of '92.
 

UmbroDays

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I didn’t realise he was 6’ 3”. Just something about him made me think he was short.

Legend though.
 

2cents

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My first and only real football hero. Hard to express in words what he means to me.
 

Bastian

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Total respect. The absolute maestro. Along with Maradona, my favourite ever player.
 

Falcow

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Some of my united memories have faded over time, however there are three that will stick in my mind forever(ok there are more but these 3 have a special place for me):

1. Checking aertel (irish ceefax) just over 28 years ago to see the headline 'United sign Cantona for £1.2m.' Page 221, I still remember.
2. January 1995, listening to palace match on 5 live, poor reception where I lived, but astounded by what happened.
3. 1996 FA cup final. Probably the greatest day of my life (and im now married with kids!) sparked by wild celebrations in the pub where I watched the game, from that point on, the day just got better and better.

Great thread OP. Long live the King.
 

Scholesgoals

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I think if people today looked at videos of Cantona they would see a good player but not on the level of Messi or Ronaldo (quite obviously) And they perhaps might question why he was so revered at United.

Take a look at the goal vs Wimbledon in the video from OP. It's at around 1.17 or so. Now that whole game, Vinnie Jones had been kicking him about, he just got up each time like he wasn't hurt. And then just before half time, after a game of poor quality, loose second balls, kick and rush, hit and hope, he controls the ball like THAT and then finishes as he does.

The thing about the King was you couldn't crush his spirit. Kick him about and he'd kick you harder. Try and close him down and he'd knock it by you, try to mark him out of the game and he'd do like he does in that video. What resonated with fans was the embodiment of his character on the pitch, strolling around like he owned the place. Confident, and headstrong against the world. He was a warrior, and he was bloody good too. Sometimes you need that talisman and after many years of being nearly men at United with him we finally had a winner (with a doff of the cap to Robson who came before him)

He had a big hand in starting the rebirth of what we have today.

He isn't there yet, but i do see a lot of similarities in Fernandes today.
 

GueRed

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Our leader, our talisman. The King.

he was the coolest motherfecker around wasnt he?

as said so many times he was the final piece of the puzzle in that 92/93 championship winning team.

Like with Rooney I'm forever thankful for him in giving us so many moments to cherish.

The beautiful link-up play, beautiful goals, the velvet touches, the power, the glory.

For 5 years he and MUFC was a match made in heaven.
 

davidmichael

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The single most influential player I’ve ever seen during my lifetime, maybe it was a perfect storm of Cantona and Sir Alex coming together at the same time The Premier League was just born but the financial juggernaut club we see today came about from the Cantona/Ferguson combo.

The influence he had on the pitch with senior players and inspiring them to perform to winning that first league title to the influence he had on ‘The Class Of ‘92’ to the influence he had on how we played going forward was immense.

There’s always going to be those that say Ronaldo was the best player to have played in The Premier League and those that will say Henry or Shearer or whoever but not a single one of them had the influence or the sheer ego and swagger that impacted a squad or a generation like Cantona did, I’m just grateful I got to see his entire time for United at an age where I fully appreciated his greatness.
 

galwayfa

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Keane has said some great words if I remember right about Cantona ,
 

redmanx

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Yep.

Has to be one of the greatest moves ever made by a manager bringing in an individual player - and then managing said player 100% correctly.

I don't care about the way it happened (whether it was a bit random, many inspired moves are a bit random) - but the move itself and the way it turned out...forget about it: it was genius - it was the sort of genius that characterizes great decision makers.
I love the story, as told by Ryan Giggs on MUTV where Eric turns up and isnt wearing a club blazer, contrary to Fergies explicit instructions. When Giggs mentioned this to Fergie he was told "When you can do what he does on the pitch, you can do the same off it!" SAF was the ultimate man manager.
 

MadDogg

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There are players and there is Eric. A flawed genius, astonishing player and the man who started it all along with Fergie.

Perhaps a greatest example of Fergie's man management ever as we know by the stories.

Your thoughts and best memories about him? Long live the King.

How have I never seen the goal at the 55 second mark before? :eek:
 

Zlatan 7

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1966 was a great year for English football.
Eric Cantona was born
 

GueRed

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was in secondary school when he signed

we had been linked to David Hirst for ages

Eric signing was out of the blue! It happened so fast.

was so excited about the prospect of him playing up top for us, quality striker and especially when you consider the impact he made at Leeds
 
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