As Manchester United icon Eric Cantona celebrates his birthday, here's 50 reasons why he is such a one-off

  • French legend Eric Cantona celebrates his 50th birthday on Tuesday
  • The forward had a bad-boy reputation when he played in the French league
  • He came to English football with Leeds United in 1991 and won the title
  • A year later, he switched to Manchester United and the success continued
  • United won four Premier League titles and two FA Cups with Cantona
  • But there were controversial moments such as that infamous kung-fu kick 
  • But he stunned the football world by retiring  aged 30 in 1997
  • Cantona later became an actor, beach soccer player and TV personality

The great Eric Cantona celebrates his 50th birthday on Tuesday and, to celebrate, we've come up with a list of reasons - one for every year - why the enigmatic Frenchman is such a unique figure.

It's all here, in no particular order, from his greatest goals to those many moments of controversy, from his philosophical musings to the best things said about him, from the football field to the cinema screen.

We hope you enjoy our glance back at his life and times as we raise a nice glass of Bordeaux and toast 'The King.'

Eric Cantona pictured during the Manchester derby between United and City at Old Trafford in April 1993

Eric Cantona pictured during the Manchester derby between United and City at Old Trafford in April 1993

 

1. His arrival at Manchester United

Alex Ferguson certainly pulled off a coup when he signed Cantona from Leeds United in 1992 and, summing up the Frenchman's arrogant streak perfectly, recalled the moment of his arrival at Old Trafford as the coming of royalty.

'If ever there was one player, anywhere in the world, that was made for Manchester United, it was Cantona. 

'He swaggered in, stuck his chest out, raised his head and surveyed everything as though he were asking: "I'm Cantona. How big are you? Are you big enough for me?"' 

Not many players would get away with that.

Cantona's aura was apparent right from the moment he signed for Manchester United in 1992

Cantona's aura was apparent right from the moment he signed for Manchester United in 1992

2. THAT glorious chip against Sunderland in 1996

The goal that is regarded as Cantona's best at United, made as brilliant for his celebration as its exquisite execution. They are at home to Sunderland just before Christmas in 1996.

United were 4-0 up and cruising before Cantona's piece de resistance. Collecting the ball near the halfway line, he spun past two players, advanced at breakneck speed, exchanged passed with Brian McClair and then sumptuously chipped the keeper. 

'The King' couldn't quite believe it himself, standing there and raising his arms in wonder at what he'd just done.

With a deft touch, Cantona lifts the ball over the Sunderland goalkeeper to score United's fifth in 1996

With a deft touch, Cantona lifts the ball over the Sunderland goalkeeper to score United's fifth in 1996

3. Wearing his collar up

There weren't any better hallmarks of Cantona's self-confidence than his insistence on wearing the collar of his shirt up. This just wasn't the done thing with footballers but Cantona could pull it off. In all the iconic photographs of him, you won't see the back of his neck on display.

Cantona was certainly a connoisseur of the upturned collar and it became his hallmark
Cantona was certainly a connoisseur of the upturned collar and it became his hallmark

Cantona was certainly a connoisseur of the upturned collar and it became his hallmark

4. He was worthy of the iconic United No 7 shirt

There comes a certain pressure with wearing the No 7 at Manchester United but Cantona felt no burden whatsoever, doing the iconic shirt justice.

His predecessors had included club greats George Best and Bryan Robson but Cantona was, on his day, every bit as good as them, helping to keep the No 7 sacred at Old Trafford.

Cantona certainly did the iconic No 7 shirt justice during his time at Manchester United

Cantona certainly did the iconic No 7 shirt justice during his time at Manchester United

5. Voted United’s all-time greatest player in a supporter poll in 2001

There was some pretty stiff competition - with the likes of Best, Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, Ryan Giggs and many more - but Cantona was voted as the club's greatest ever player in a survey by United magazine back in March 2001. 

6. He beat the devil in a Nike advert

In the first of a number of adverts Cantona featured in, he teamed up with a bunch of superstars including Luis Figo, Ronaldo Patrick Kluivert and Ian Wright to take on the Devil and his cronies in a 1996 Nike ad, thus saving Earth from fiery destruction.

Plenty of big names were involved, but it's Cantona who gets the starring role. By which we mean he scored the winning goal by blasting the ball straight through Satan's stomach. Ouch.

7. He helped Leeds United to the first division title

Cantona arrived at Old Trafford a champion, having helped Leeds United to the First Division title during his brief spell there.

The Yorkshire club signed him from French side Nimes for £900,000 in November 1991 and though he only scored three times in his 15 appearances that season, his assists for team-mates were a key factor as Leeds lifted the final championship before the Premier League rebrand.

Cantona's goals and assists helped Leeds United win the 1992 First Division championship 

Cantona's goals and assists helped Leeds United win the 1992 First Division championship 

8. Controversial moment I: He was banned after throwing boots in a team-mates’ face

This is the first of many controversial moments that will feature on this list and occurs when Cantona played for Montpellier. He had a falling-out with his team-mates Jean-Claude Lemoult and reacted by throwing his boots in Lemoult's face. 

The incident split the dressing room, with half-a-dozen players calling for enfant terrible Cantona to be sacked. 

With the support of team-mates Laurent Blanc and Carlos Valderrama, Cantona managed to keep his contract but he was banned by the club from training for 10 days. 

9. The brilliant goal at Wimbledon in 1994

One of Cantona's sweetest connections with the football. It was 1994 and Manchester United were playing at Wimbledon in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

It was still goalless in the 43rd minute when Denis Irwin pumped a searching ball forward from left-back. It was poorly cleared and Cantona, taking one touch to set, unleashed a crisp, looping right-foot volley that crashed into the net. 

United went to win 3-0 en route to Cup success and the Double.

10. He called for a bank run during the European economic crisis in 2010

Always a deep and radical thinker, Cantona gained headlines in 2010 when he called on millions of French people to withdraw their life savings from banks all at the same time during the European economic crisis. 

Calling for a 'real revolution' to destroy the 'corrupt' banking system, Cantona said: 'There is something very simple we can do. The system is based on the power of the banks. If 20 million people withdraw their money, the system collapses. No need for weapons, or blood or anything.' 

French economy minister Christine Lagarde replied: 'I think it's best for everyone to stick to their own speciality.'

Cantona believes he was advocating some blue-sky economic thinking back in 2010

Cantona believes he was advocating some blue-sky economic thinking back in 2010

11. The song 'ooh aah Cantona'

Every footballing hero need a catchy terrace chant and Cantona's was pretty simple in all honesty and sung with plenty of gusto by both Leeds and Man United fans during his time in England. 

12. Fearing the United fans would stop singing his name

On a related topic is Cantona's heartfelt fear, aired in 2004, that one day the Man United fans would stop singing his name. 

He said: 'I'm so proud the fans still sing my name, but I fear tomorrow they will stop. I fear it because I love it. And everything you love, you fear you will lose.' 

Very deep, Eric. But put away the handkerchief, it's unlikely they'll stop singing about you any time soon.

United supporters show their appreciation for Cantona by waving the French flag back in 2005

United supporters show their appreciation for Cantona by waving the French flag back in 2005

13. Trying to fight a policeman after being sent off against Galatasaray

Manchester United's infamous 'Welcome to Hell' visit to Galatasaray in 1993 was a tale of naked hostility from start to finish. 

After a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford in the first leg, United needed to win to advance but faced a fiery atmosphere Gary Pallister later described as 'making Anfield look like a tea party'. Perhaps cowed by the thousands of baying home fans, United failed to score and the game ended 0-0. 

To compound the misery, Cantona was sent off on the final whistle for complaining about the performance of Swiss referee Kurt Rothlisberger. The policeman who escorted Cantona off the pitch then cracked him one in the tunnel.

'In the dressing room, Eric went crazy,' Roy Keane later recalled. 'While the rest of us just wanted to get out of there, he was determined to go back outside to sort out the rogue cop who'd been wielding his truncheon. 

'Eric was a big, strong lad. He was serious. He insisted he was going to kill 'that f***er'. It took the combined efforts of the manager, Brian Kidd (assistant), and a few of the players to restrain him.'

Cantona is 'escorted' from the pitch at the Ali Sami Yen after United are knocked out by Galatasaray

Cantona is 'escorted' from the pitch at the Ali Sami Yen after United are knocked out by Galatasaray

14. His hat-trick in the 1992 Charity Shield win for Leeds over Liverpool

As a glorified pre-season friendly, the Charity (now Community) Shield could always be a hit-or-miss affair.

But the match between champions Leeds United and FA Cup winners Liverpool in 1992 certainly didn't disappoint. Leeds edged a Wembley thriller 4-3 courtesy of Cantona's hat-trick.

Cantona salutes the Wembley crowd after scoring one of his three goals in the 1992 FA Charity Shield 

Cantona salutes the Wembley crowd after scoring one of his three goals in the 1992 FA Charity Shield 

15. Controversial moment II: The infamous kung-fu kick at Palace

It would be impossible to have any kind of Cantona countdown without mentioning the moment that the vast majority of football fans best remember him for. 

After being sent off in United's January 1995 game at Crystal Palace, Cantona was allegedly subjected to a volley of abuse by home fan Matthew Simmons.

The red mist descended on Cantona, who reacted by leaping over the sponsor boards to launch a kung-fu kick followed by a series of punches. He was heavily punished for the shocking incident - charged with assault, he was eventually sentenced to 120 hours of community service. 

The Football Association banned Cantona for eight months and fined him a total of £30,000. 

Cantona never expressed a great deal of remorse for what happened, later saying: 'My best moment? I have a lot of good moments but the one I prefer is when I kicked the hooligan.'

And on the 20th anniversary of the attack, he said: 'I didn't punch him strong enough. I should have punched him harder.' 

The shocking moment when Cantona kung-fu kicked Crystal Palace supporter Matthew Simmons in 1995

The shocking moment when Cantona kung-fu kicked Crystal Palace supporter Matthew Simmons in 1995

16. That enigmatic statement afterwards

After Cantona's community service sentence was handed down, Cantona gave a press conference. In front of a packed room, he walked in, sat down and eyed the room. 

Speaking in a deliberately slow manner, he just said: 'When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much.' 

Cantona then stood up and walked out. It remains one of the most extraordinary moments of the Premier League era.

17. Reading French philosophy on the team bus

It is possible that the seagulls quote was the musing of a little-known French philosopher - and plenty of people trawled through long-forgotten works to try and find out - or was even one of Cantona's own thoughts. 

After all, he did openly read classic French literature and works of philosophy on the United team bus to away games and once proclaimed: 'I don't study, I live.' 

A dapper Cantona smokes a cigar in the film 'Les Enfants du Marais', released in 1999

A dapper Cantona smokes a cigar in the film 'Les Enfants du Marais', released in 1999

18. The two penalties in the 1994 FA Cup final

May 1994 and United are bidding to become only the fourth team in the 20th century to accomplish the Double of league title and FA Cup. 

Their opponents Chelsea have the better of the first half but after half-time it's a very different story.

Cantona gets the ball rolling, converting a 60th-minute penalty, and then scored again from 12 yards six minutes later to kill off the contest. Further goals from Mark Hughes and Brian McClair complete an emphatic 4-0 win.

Cantona coolly converted two penalties as Manchester United beat Chelsea 4-0 in the 1994 Cup final

Cantona coolly converted two penalties as Manchester United beat Chelsea 4-0 in the 1994 Cup final

Cantona and fellow goalscorer Mark Hughes show off the Cup after their 1994 victory over Chelsea

Cantona and fellow goalscorer Mark Hughes show off the Cup after their 1994 victory over Chelsea

19. The Nike cage advert

In one of the best sports adverts ever seen on TV, Cantona is cast as the host and referee of a secret Nike football tournament featuring the world's best players and played on board a container ship. 

Nike released it to coincide with the 2002 World Cup and it features stars of the time including Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos, Thierry Henry, Paul Scholes and Ronaldinho showing off their best tricks to a throbbing remix of Elvis Presley's 'A Little Less Conversation.'

It was certainly one of the more memorable campaign ads. Enjoy the full version here...  

'A little less conversation...' Cantona acts as compere and referee for the Nike cage tournament 

'A little less conversation...' Cantona acts as compere and referee for the Nike cage tournament 

20. Controversial moment III: Giving Bruno Martini a black eye

Arguably the genesis moment of Cantona's chequered disciplinary history, he was fined at his first club Auxerre for punching France national team goalkeeper Bruno Martini in the face. Cantona himself won the first of his 45 international caps in that same year, 1987. 

21. 'Looking for Eric'

After his early retirement in 1997, Cantona pursued a second career as a film star. It's unlikely that most of his works will have appealed too strongly to football fans. 

One exception was Ken Loach's 2009 film 'Looking for Eric' in which the footballer appeared to help a postman, Eric Bishop, whose life is descending into crisis.

 After the pair chat about some of his best moments, Cantona utters the brilliant line: 'I am not a man, I am Cantona.' Zlatan who?

'Looking for Eric' director Ken Loach and Cantona, who appears as himself in the 2009 film

'Looking for Eric' director Ken Loach and Cantona, who appears as himself in the 2009 film

22. PFA Footballer of the Year and other awards

Cantona won plenty of team honours, but he collected individual honours as well. In 1994, his peers voted him the PFA Footballer of the Year and in 1996 he won the Football Writers' Association Player of the Year.

Cantona poses with his PFA Footballer of the Year award in 1994

Cantona poses with his PFA Footballer of the Year award in 1994

23. The painting 'The Art of the Game' by Michael Browne that depicted Cantona as Jesus...

...Cantona bought it.

24. This pass to Irwin in 1993

Cantona scored plenty of goals as we know but he also created his fair share as well. Take this sublime outside-of-the-foot pass to set up a goal for Denis Irwin in the January 1993 league game with Spurs. Magnifique.

25. Supporting England instead of France at major tournaments

Perhaps it was his turbulent career with the France national side. Maybe it was his adoration of Manchester, where 'you feel like you're home, protected and loved'. 

But Cantona has supported England ahead of his homeland at a number of major tournaments. Ahead of the 2010 World Cup, he said: 'I will support England. I am half Marseilles, half English.' 

At least England got further than France in 2010. Just.

A cheeky Cantona appearance with the St George's flag in a mid-1990s Nike commercial 

A cheeky Cantona appearance with the St George's flag in a mid-1990s Nike commercial 

26. Controversial moment IV: Kicking off while playing for Marseille (in a friendly)

Cantona never liked being substituted... even in a friendly match. In January 1989 he was playing for Marseille against Russian side Torpedo Moscow when the coach called him off. 

Cantona went into a hissy fit and booted the ball into the crowd before ripping off his shirt and throwing it away. And he'd grown up a Marseille fan. The club banned him for a month. 

27. Sheffield Wednesday didn't want to sign him

With France just about fed up of his bad-boy ways, Cantona was shipped off to England in 1991. He arrived for a trial at Sheffield Wednesday, managed by Trevor Francis, and played in a friendly match. 

Despite scoring three times in a 4-3 win, Wednesday decided they needed more time to decide. 

'That was not a very good way to go about things,' Cantona later said. But there was more interest afoot...

Cantona drinks a pint of beer in a Sheffield pub during his trial with Wednesday 

Cantona drinks a pint of beer in a Sheffield pub during his trial with Wednesday 

28. Liverpool also passed up the chance to sign him

In November 1991, after the unsuccessful trial at Wednesday, Cantona was offered to Liverpool after his club Auxerre played there in a UEFA Cup tie. 

Graeme Souness politely turned down the offer, saying he was concerned for dressing room harmony and that he already had decent striking options available in Ian Rush, John Barnes, Dean Saunders and Ronny Rosenthal. 

He went to Leeds instead and the rest is history as they say. 

29. Denying he was in a soft porn film

When Cantona landed a role in racy French comedy 'You and the Night' last year it certainly trod a fine line between cinema and pornography. 

He wore a fake appendage and crawled around in a cage while being whipped. 

Yet Cantona seemed surprised at the questions: 'Porn? No, it's not porn. It's a piece of art. It's just a piece of art.' Judge for yourself...   

30. He was director of soccer at New York Cosmos... but then it turned sour

Cantona, upon being appointed director of soccer at the reformed American club New York Cosmos in 2011 said: 'It's a wonderful project. It's kind of a mix between football and art.'

2015: Cantona sues the club for $1m (£714,000) in unpaid salary after they fire him for getting in an altercation with a photographer in London.

Cantona and Pele relaunch the famous American club New York Cosmos back in August 2011

Cantona and Pele relaunch the famous American club New York Cosmos back in August 2011

31. The Old Trafford roar as Cantona comes on for his debut

Wearing a No 12 shirt, United's new signing from Leeds United comes on as a half-time substitute against Manchester City on December 6, 1992 to a vociferous roar. 

United win the game 2-1 and are fifth in the Premier League. It was the first of 185 appearances for United. 

 32. Controversial moment V: Calling the France coach a 'sack of s***'

In 1987, coach Henri Michel handed Cantona his international debut in a match with West Germany. 

But that relationship quickly turned sour and just a year later, after being dropped from the national team, Cantona decided to go on television and call Michel a 'sack of s***'. 

He was banned by the French FA from international football for a year and only returned to the fold when Michel Platini came in as boss.

Cantona pictured during one of his appearances for France, against Bulgaria in 1993

Cantona pictured during one of his appearances for France, against Bulgaria in 1993

33. This quite brilliant free-kick against Arsenal

September 1993 and United have started well in their defence of the Premier League title. But ultra-defensive Arsenal come to Old Trafford to put up a fight. 

A set-piece would settle it so step forward Cantona to blast an absolute rocket past David Seaman from 30 yards. He couldn't have struck it any better. Even Ferguson knew it was special.

Cantona fires home an absolute rocket from 30 yards as United beat Arsenal 1-0 in 1993

Cantona fires home an absolute rocket from 30 yards as United beat Arsenal 1-0 in 1993


34. Twelve Cantonas song

A festive favourite for United fans involved taking the lyrics to 12 Days of Christmas and replacing them with Cantona. So all together now...

'On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 12 Cantonas, 11 Cantonas, 10 Cantonas, nine Cantonas...' You get the idea.

35. He looks very cool on a Harley

This was taken in the south of France two days after he announced his retirement from football in 1997. Just to add, this is real life and not a film.

Cantona zips along on his Harley Davidson shortly after announcing his retirement back in 1997

Cantona zips along on his Harley Davidson shortly after announcing his retirement back in 1997

36. He was quite good at beach football too

After retiring, Cantona was appointed captain of the French national beach football team and he later managed them to success at the inaugural World Cup in 2005 in Rio. Let's say the beach lifestyle seemed to suit him.

Cantona looks relaxed as he poses during a publicity shoot for a beach soccer event in Hyde Park

Cantona looks relaxed as he poses during a publicity shoot for a beach soccer event in Hyde Park

37. This Kronenbourg advert

Cantona made a return to British TV screens in 2013, appearing in a Kronenbourg beer advert which depicted a bizarre opposites land called Alsace where farmers are idolised and footballers are insignificant.

In all seriousness, it is quite well conceived. 'Excuse-moi, are you a farmer?'

38. Crucial winner against Newcastle in 1996

Cantona scored some spectacular goals but he also had a superb sense of occasion. In the 1995-96 campaign, United had trailed Newcastle United by 12 points at one stage but had slowly reeled in Kevin Keegan's nervous side.

At the start of March, they went to St James' Park and couldn't really afford any slip-ups. Under the cosh for most of the game, with Peter Schmeichel making several good saves, United snatched a winner through Cantona's assured finish on 52 minutes. 

It was their most important result of the season and ensured a third title in four seasons.

Cantona scored United's crucial winner at Newcastle United back in March 1996

Cantona scored United's crucial winner at Newcastle United back in March 1996

39. He was signed by accident

When Leeds United chairman Bill Fotherby telephoned his Man United counterpart Martin Edwards in November 1992, he wanted to enquire if left-back Denis Irwin might be for sale. 

After speaking with Alex Ferguson, they agreed Irwin was too valuable to the team to be sold. 

Fergie, having already failed to sign David Hirst, Matt Le Tissier and Brian Deane, instructed Edwards to ask Leeds if Cantona was for sale. A few days later, a £1.2m deal was completed.

Cantona is unveiled at Man United alongside Ferguson (far right) and chairman Martin Edwards

Cantona is unveiled at Man United alongside Ferguson (far right) and chairman Martin Edwards

40. He took a good penalty

Collar up, chest out, blood pumping but head clear. Cantona proved himself a nerveless penalty taker and more often than not, would send the keeper the wrong way and leave them in a muddy gloop. He scored 14 of his 16 penalties for United.

Cantona converts against Manchester City at Maine Road back in April 1996 as United closed in on the title

Cantona converts against Manchester City at Maine Road back in April 1996 as United closed in on the title

41. Looks good in period costume

Cantona played Monsieur de Foix in the 1998 film Elizabeth and certainly looked smart in his aristocratic finery. The movie loosely covered the early years of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Cate Blanchett played the lead role.

Cantona is character as Monsieur de Foix in the 1998 period film Elizabeth 

Cantona is character as Monsieur de Foix in the 1998 period film Elizabeth 

42. Controversial moment VI: His feud with Deschamps

Before United played Juventus in the Champions League in 1996, Cantona decided to stoke up the rivalry by having a pop at his compatriot and Juve midfielder Didier Deschamps.

'Deschamps gets by because he always gives 100 per cent, but he will never be anything more than a water-carrier,' said Cantona. Ouch.

He continued: 'You can find players like him (Deschamps) on every street corner. At present Didier likes to act like a monk and a moralist but he'll end up wallowing in every kind of vice.

'The only two decent French players in Italy are Youri Djorkaeff and Zinedine Zidane and the rest are nothing special.'

Deschamps came up with a pretty good retort: 'How many players can you find on street corners who have won two European Cups? Besides, every team needs its water carriers.'

The Juventus man had the last laugh as they won home and away. Touche.  

Cantona challenges compatriot Zinedine Zidane as Man United play Juventus in 1996-97

Cantona challenges compatriot Zinedine Zidane as Man United play Juventus in 1996-97

43. This other stunner against Arsenal

Not content with that free-kick against the Gunners in 1993, Eric struck them down again in 1996. 

After David Seaman made a rare misjudgement and a high ball was only half-cleared, Cantona majestically took command of the situation, controlling on his chest before rocketing home a shot over the keeper's head.

44. That unforgettable comeback game against Liverpool

Cantona had not been seen in a United shirt for eight months following his kung-fu kick, so it was understandably quite the charged occasion when he finally returned on October 1, 1995. 

To add extra spice, his return was against United's old foes Liverpool and, as if scripted, Cantona proved his team's saviour. 

He set up their opener for Nicky Butt and then, with Liverpool ahead 2-1, dispatched a penalty with customary precision to earn a point.

Cantona clings to the Old Trafford goal stanchion after scoring a penalty to earn a point against Liverpool

Cantona clings to the Old Trafford goal stanchion after scoring a penalty to earn a point against Liverpool

45. Another moment against Liverpool

Later than season and Cantona haunted Liverpool once again. Wembley and the 1996 FA Cup final sees United trying for another Double triumph. 

After 85 minutes of dullness, United win a corner, David James punches it clear and there's our man, somehow shaping his body to meet the ball on the full, and striking it into a tiny gap past four or five Liverpool defenders who don't seem to see it. 

His redemption is completed in that moment.

Cantona somehow finds the net from outside the box to win the 1996 Cup final for Man United

Cantona somehow finds the net from outside the box to win the 1996 Cup final for Man United

The win completed United's second Double triumph in three seasons and Cantona is mobbed 

The win completed United's second Double triumph in three seasons and Cantona is mobbed 

46. Retirement saga #1

Cantona first announced his retirement from football in December 1991, aged 24, after being banned for throwing the ball at a referee during a match for Nimes. 

At a disciplinary hearing in front of the French FA, Cantona walked up to each member on the panel and branded them an idiot. 

His ban was doubled to two months and he subsequently decided to jack it in. Platini persuaded him to carry on. 

47. Retirement saga #2

Cantona then wanted to leave Man United and call it a day in 1995 during his eight-month suspension. It required an intervention from Alex Ferguson, who flew out to Paris to talk him round.

48. The actual retirement

In 1997, shortly after United had sealed their fourth Premier League title, Cantona stunned the football world by announcing his retirement at the age of just 30. 

It said much about Cantona's personality that he felt he no longer had anything left to prove. 

A glum Alex Ferguson and Martin Edwards announce Cantona's surprise retirement in 1997

A glum Alex Ferguson and Martin Edwards announce Cantona's surprise retirement in 1997

49. The goal record

We will finish with some numbers from Cantona's career. With his clubs in France, he played 220 games in all competitions and scored 69 times. 

With Leeds and Man United combined, he also played 220 games and scored 96. With the France team, he scored 20 goals in 45 appearances.

That makes a grand total of 185 goals in 485 games. Not bad at all.

Cantona and Ferguson celebrate with an embrace after yet another Man United win

Cantona and Ferguson celebrate with an embrace after yet another Man United win

50. The trophy cabinet

Above all else, Eric was a champion. At Marseille, he twice won the French league and at Montpellier he lifted the French Cup.

At Leeds, he helped them to the First Division crown. At Manchester United, Cantona won four league titles in five seasons, plus the FA Cup in 1994 and 1996. A true legend.

Cantona and Peter Schmeichel parade the FA Cup after United's 4-0 win over Chelsea in 1994

Cantona and Peter Schmeichel parade the FA Cup after United's 4-0 win over Chelsea in 1994

 

 

 

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