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Eric Cantona

Position Striker
Born 24 May 1966, Paris (France)
Height 177 cm
Weight 75 kg
International Caps France: ? full

Club From To Apps Goals Sold for
Olympique Marseille   01 Jul 1991     £1000000
Nîmes 01 Jul 1991 04 Feb 1992 20 1 £900000
Leeds United 04 Feb 1992 12 Nov 1992 34 11 £1200000
Manchester United 12 Nov 1992 01 Jun 1997 143 64  

Leeds Career League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1991 - 1992 6(9)3 0  0  0  0 
1992 - 1993 12(1)6 0  1  52 0 
Total 18(10)9 0  1  52 0 

Jabba's Comments

A Frenchman with a serious problem with authority - referees, managers and even the French FA had already been the target of his ire - who came to Leeds to everyone's great surprise halfway through the 1991-92 charge for the Championship. His career with Nimes in France seemed to be at an end because of his personal troubles, but he'd been over in England on trial at Sheffield Wednesday: when they asked him to stay for an extended trial he wasn't happy - and at that point Wilko gambled £900,000 on signing him.

He only played a handful of games that season, mainly from the bench, but did score some absolutely brilliant goals. With Leeds' indifferent form at the start of the next campaign, his true nature started to show itself: a genius in a winning side but a liability when the chips were down and the team needed to pull together. After some particularly poor performances - notably against Rangers in the European Cup - Cantona found himself out of the starting line-up and very unhappy. An abysmal performance in a league cup defeat at Watford rounded off his Leeds career: a phone call from Alex Ferguson secured the bargain of the century for Manchester United and helped transform what was admittedly a good and improving Old Trafford outfit into the great unit that dominated English football from 1993 onwards.

In his time at Old Trafford he won a pile of trophies, but he continued to show the nasty side of his nature, and only the presence of that mystical Red Devil badge on his shirt saved him from more red cards and long bans as referees and the FA turned a blind eye to numerous boots and elbows on opposition players. The FA finally had to act when he attacked a spectator who had been shouting abuse at him when he was dismissed at Selhurst Park, and although he returned to the Man U side after that, he never quite had the same edge, and the presence of a young David Beckham had started to shift the focus of Alex Ferguson's side away from the Frenchman.

He's still playing football - but these days it's the burgeoning beach football circuit, where a skillful flick counts more than the ability to sprint around the court. He's also appeared in a couple of films - but unsurprisingly, he's stayed out of the mainstream, focusing on art-house movies rather than Hollywood blockbusters.

james says: iam the brother of the man that he kicked and before that we all loved cantona but after that we didnt like him at all


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