Eric Cantona is a bonafide Manchester United legend. The mercurial Frenchman only spent five seasons at Old Trafford but he left such a mark on the club that he will be remembered as one of the clubs most iconic players ever.
Many believe it was the signing of the controversial attacker in 1992, that spurred Sir Alex Ferguson’s team on to dominate English football for the next 20 years.
Here are 15 of the best quotes ever by the enigmatic frontman …
“When you arrive in England for football it’s a paradise.”
“I prefer to play and lose rather than win, because I know in advance I’m going to win.”
“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.” To this day even 20 years after his retirement Cantona’s name is still sung around Old Trafford on match days.
“Sometimes you surprise the goalkeeper and sometimes the goalkeeper surprises you. In my career, I tried to do more of the first than the second.”
“The real fans of football come from the working class. Now they cannot afford to come and watch the game.”
“Deschamps gets by because he always gives 100 per cent, but he will never be anything more than a water carrier.” On the current France manager Didier Deschamps.
“My best moment? I have a lot of good moments but the one I prefer is when I kicked the hooligan.” In case you didn’t know he’s talking about this …
“When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much.” This was when King Eric showed his philosophical side after returning from his 9 month ban for kicking said hooligan …
“After his first training session in heaven, George Best, from the favourite right wing, turned the head of God who was filling in at left back. I would love him to save me a place in his team, George Best that is, not God.”
“I am not a man, I am Cantona.”
“I didn’t study; I live.”
“If you have only one passion in life – football – and you pursue it to the exclusion of everything else, it becomes very dangerous. When you stop doing this activity it is as though you are dying. The death of that activity is a death in itself.”
“I’m proud of what I achieved there, but a life built on memories is not much of a life.”
“Manchester United is stronger than anybody in the world.”
“There can only be one king in Manchester, you can be the prince if you want.” When Zlatan signed for United.
See also – Eric Cantona and how he made us feel