“Ooh ahh Cantona” sang fans in the audience as he walked out on to the set. “I’m terrified, what just happened?” questioned Ross, as the whistles and cheers died down.
When questioned where he most enjoyed living and the happiest time in his life, Cantona replied: “I had a great time here. The most enjoyable time of my life was when I was in Manchester. Great team, great players, great fans.”
Ross then asked him what he thought of Sir Alex Ferguson, and what his experience of the manager had been.
“He was a great manager,” replied Cantona. “He tried to give everyone confidence to explain themselves. He doesn’t want people to be the same. He gave us freedom. Of course, he knows football better than anyone.”
Ross asked Eric if he had plans to manage United, something he has recently claimed he would like to do. Cantona talked of the time he has spent trying to get people to accept him in the world of film, so a stint at management wasn’t in the near future, but we will see about the future.
When asked whether he had always planned to go in to film when he was still playing, Cantona drew on the likenesses between the two.
“It’s the same as football, it’s just about different games,” he said. “We need to enjoy what we do on the pitch, and we need to enjoy what we do on the set. It’s all about confidence.”
Ross continued talking about his film career, wondering whether Cantona ever suffered from a lack of confidence.
“It’s all about confidence and anticipation,” he replied. “I had to let people take time to accept I can do something else. I was concerned people might never accept me. But I wanted to try, take risks, and try and improve.”
A picture of Cantona’s infamous kung-fu kick appeared on the screen behind Eric, leading Ross to pry here. Leaving the question fairly broad, Ross spoke about his passion, his anger, and that kick.
“So?” Cantona said with a shrug, leading Ross to move quickly on to ask him what it was like to be banned.
“It was difficult,” he said. “I had to train and focus, but nine months is very long. I still had a passion for the game. It was very difficult. But maybe I deserved it. I had time to think about it. I take on board good and bad experiences.”
Ross then asked him did he regret it, after reading that Cantona had previously said he had enjoyed kicking the hooligan.
“I didn’t regret it, no.”
Then on to the infamous “seagulls following the trawler” quote that came in the press conference following the incident.
“They tried to make it very serious,” said Cantona. “The lawyer said to me, ‘they’re waiting for you to say something’. I could have said no comment and gone. But these words, these lines, meant nothing. But everybody tried to analyse it.” He smiled.
Ross then moved on to talk about Cantona’s film, Looking For Eric, which Ross ‘loved’. What a broad taste he has. It’s almost as if he loves every album of every band that comes on the show, as well as every film and television programme every actor who he interviews is in. Anyway…
The film looks bloody brilliant. They showed the clip, the one you have probably all seen, where Eric goes, “I am a not a man. I am Cantona.” I really cannot wait to see it. Cantona revealed that the idea was thought of in France, but then he approached director Ken Loach, who was “first on the list” of people he wanted involved.
Then to finish the programme, Ross asks how much Cantona loves to play the game now, which he shrugs off, saying he does something different these days. At which point, Ross pulls out a football. Then, the lucky cunt, who doesn’t even deserve it, given the poncy twat doesn’t give a shit less about football, got to head the ball back and forth with the King!
edit: as requested, “I am Cantona” t-shirts on the shop.