Éric Daniel Pierre Cantona (born 24 May 1966) is a French actor and former international footballer for the French national team. He played for Auxerre, Martigues, Marseille, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nîmes and Leeds United before ending his professional footballing career at Manchester United, where he won four Premier League titles in five years and two League and FA Cup Doubles.
Cantona is often regarded as having played a key role in the revival of Manchester United as a footballing force and he enjoys iconic status at the club. He wore the number 7 shirt at United, which was previously worn by George Best and Bryan Robson, and subsequently worn by David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. Cantona is affectionately nicknamed by Manchester United fans as "King Eric", and was voted as Manchester United's greatest ever player by Inside United magazine. Set against his footballing achievements was a poor disciplinary record throughout his career, including a conviction for assault on a fan in 1995.
Following his retirement from football, he took up a career in cinema and had a role in the 1998 film Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, and the 2009 film Looking for Eric.
In 2010, he debuted as a stage actor in Face au paradis, a French play directed by his wife, Rachida Brakni.
On 19 January 2011, Cantona joined the revived New York Cosmos as Director of Soccer.
Famous quotes containing the word eric:
“...there was the annual Fourth of July picketing at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. ...I thought it was ridiculous to have to go there in a skirt. But I did it anyway because it was something that might possibly have an effect. I remember walking around in my little white blouse and skirt and tourists standing there eating their ice cream cones and watching us like the zoo had opened.”
—Martha Shelley, U.S. author and social activist. As quoted in Making History, part 3, by Eric Marcus (1992)