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He’s The Greatest Centre Forward That The World Has Ever Seen

Eric Cantona was interviewed on Jonathan Ross this evening and was on the receiving end of probably the most excited audience the BBC have seen on that show.

“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.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. gotta hate tiny tears says:

    me and emily watched it last night and she did that very chant
    eric was just so cool
    everything about him
    from just saying “hello” when he was asked to give a shout to his biggest fan
    his love for united
    how he told the crowd to be quiet without saying any words so ross could say his question
    the guy is pure class
    and then there was the clip of irwins goal against spurs as the cherry on the cake

  2. What says:

    oh fuck off

  3. gotta hate tiny tears says:

    p.s. i love that tshirt
    ive nearly worn the design off
    once again any chance of a “i am not a man….i am cantona shirt”????

  4. chep says:

    Eric is the real King!


    lucky Bastard
    Long live the king!

  6. wazza says:

    @What : are you a dipper ? just FUCK OFF
    Ohh Ahh Cantona !!!

  7. Red_Ruth says:

    The day When Cantona comes back home will be the happiest day of my life

  8. smithy99 says:

    I really enjoyed this interview.

    Eric Cantona. My favourite player of all time and he always will be.

    Pure genius on the pitch and off it too.

  9. gotta hate tiny tears says:

    Karim Benzema may hve to be sold says Lyon because they need money
    just saying
    oh ah cantona
    oh ah cantona

  10. ROJO RED ROT ROUGE says:

    Eric the King. Eric the King. Eric the King. Long live Eric the King!

  11. King Eric says:

    Bastard I missed it. Will watch the repeat tonight.

    Gotta Hate Tiny Tevez – Bottom of Scott’s blog mate. Link to the t-shirt you want!

  12. gotta hate tiny tears says:

    thank you scott
    and thank you king eric
    and mostly
    thank you eric the king

  13. Mic says:

    I like Ross, I had a gander on BBCi player to watch the show and God I love Eric and that fan that cheered him is a legend!

  14. AlphaRS says:

    Eric you are an absolute Legend!

    What a ball he played to Irwin.

  15. Kings says:

    What – If you are a dipper then go fuck yourself you cunt. Long live Eric the King, the greatest Centre Forward the world has ever seen. Anyone got a link showing King Eric’s winning goal against the dippers in the 1996 FA Cup Final? sweet moment!

  16. mo says:

    lol he got a better reception than anyone thath has ever been on that show, i can’t believe i actually sang ooh aaah cantona when i heard he was on the show.

  17. TK99 says:

    Eric is simply the best .
    Long live the KING.

  18. THE KING says:

    oooh aaah Cantona

  19. jesbit says:


  20. EastStandManc says:

    A couple of nitpicky things Scott. Le Roi did the reverse of what I do sometimes when I don’t know the word in French and try to get away with an English word with a French accent, lol. He actually said:

    “He tried to give everyone confidence to *exprime* themselves.”

    ‘Exprimer’ of course, meaning ‘to express’, in French. I cringed a little, but smiled, too, grateful to know that it’s not just me that tries to get away with that.

    Secondly; “couldn’t give a shit less” ? Are we turnin’ American now ;) ?

    Ross was shit, but a great interview from King Eric whose English has improved vastly since the making of the film (naturally). Can’t wait to see it.

  21. gotta hate tiny tears says:

  22. Scott the Red says:

    GHTT: Here’s a better quality one –

    In my top three goals ever that one. Aside from the importance and the opposition, I just find it absolutely incredible. The way he shifts back and makes contact with the ball when it’s so far behind, then is still able to hit it hard enough for it travel through all those players… wow.

  23. Kings says:

    GHTT and Scott – Thanks Guys, I have saved that on my desktop. Great goal from the great man, in the timing of the goal, the technique and who it was scored against. The other goals that will live long in my memory are the following:

    His cracking goal against Arsenal, both in 1993 (free-kick) and 1996 (long range half volley from about 30+ yards.

    Also his goal against Wimbledon in the FA Cup in 1994.

  24. gotta hate tiny tears says:

    its in my top 3 as well scott
    giggs -arsenal
    ole-99 final
    how he put so much power behind it
    without his body motion putting any power behind it is amazing

  25. King Eric says:

    “The way he shifts back and makes contact with the ball when it’s so far behind, then is still able to hit it hard enough for it travel through all those players… wow.”

    Scott – Absolutely spot on mate, said the same myself at the bottom of Giles “War & peace” post yesterday. Absolute class.

  26. gotta hate tiny tears says:

    ha ha ha war and peace
    perfectly put

  27. Jam the Red says:

    Ross only chose to head the ball to King Eric as he knew there was a chance he could head back one of Eric’s headers due to the size of his massive head – still cocked that up though didn’t he?!

    Had he tried passing with his feet he’d have probably booted it into the audience with his square feet or done something equally embarrasing like tripping over.

    Least there was a good audience and not some brainless idiots who worship Woss and laugh at his goofyness.

  28. Whiteside10 says:

    Watched the interview… just brought back great memories for me… Only disappointment on the JR show was the montage of goals they showed… would like to have seen a few others, like his goal at St James’s in ’96, the one he scored in a cup tie at Sheffield United in the howling gale (got the ball on the edge of the box and decided to lob the keeper – genius!), his volley at Wimbledon, his thunderbolt against Arsenal at OT… I could go on…

  29. redrick says:

    shit! forgot to tape it, does anyone know when its repeated, le GOD.

  30. King Eric says:

    Jam the Red – He would have punctured it with his laughable fuckin winkle pickers on! He needs to grow up the horrible cockney cunt.

    Was repeated last night redrick at 12.45am.

  31. redrick says:

    @king eric- bollocks, cheers anyway.


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