“It is a dream for some people to kick these kind of people (hooligans) — so I did it for them, so that they are happy,” said Cantona. “It’s a kind of freedom for them — so they speak about that incident because they felt something special physically. Maybe it was a different feeling. It is a great feeling — but different. I have seen so many players scoring goals and they know what that feels like, but this one — a player jumping and kicking a hooligan — it’s not the kind of thing you see every day!”

But Cantona conceded: “It was a mistake but that’s life — that’s me. You either take it or not. I’m strong enough to come back.”

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