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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

eric cantona pictures

Eric Daniel Pierre Cantona (English pronunciation: /ˈkæntənɑː/; French pronunciation: [ 'kantɔna' ] born 24 May 1966) is a French actor and former footballer. He ended 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 major role in the revival of Manchester United as a footballing powerhouse and he enjoys iconic status at the club and in English football. He wore the famous number 7 shirt at United which was previously worn by George Best and Bryan Robson, and subsequently worn by David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Michael Owen. In 2001, he was voted as Manchester United's player of the century and is affectionately nicknamed "King Eric". He is the current Director of Football for the New York Cosmos.

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 January 19, 2011, Cantona joined the New York Cosmos, the revival of the team of the same name from the original North American Soccer League, as Director of Soccer.
Early life
Although it has been suggested that he was born in Paris,[4] Cantona was actually born in Marseille to Albert Cantona and Eleonore Raurich. The family home was a cave[citation needed] in one of the hills in the Caillols area of Marseille, between the city's 11th and 12th arrondissements, and it was rumoured to have been used as a look-out post for the German army towards the end of the Second World War. The site was chosen in the mid-1950s by Cantona's paternal grandmother, Lucienne, whose husband, Joseph, was a stonemason. By the time Cantona was born in 1966, the hillside cave had become little more than a room in the family's house, which was now up to a liveable standard. Cantona has two brothers: Jean-Marie, who is four years older; and Joël, who is 17 months younger.

Cantona came from a family of immigrants: his paternal grandfather, Joseph, had immigrated to Marseille from Sardinia, while his mother's parents had been from Catalonia (Spain). Pedro Raurich, Cantona's maternal grandfather, a Republican, was fighting against the Nationalist army of General Franco, in the Spanish Civil War in 1938 when he suffered a serious injury to his liver, and he had to retreat to France for medical treatment with his wife Paquita. The Raurichs stayed in Saint-Priest, Ardèche, before settling in Marseille.[citation needed]
Early career
Cantona began his football career with SO Caillolais, his local team and one that had produced such talent as Roger Jouve and had players such as Jean Tigana and Christophe Galtier within its ranks. Originally, Cantona began to follow in his father's footsteps and often played as a goalkeeper, but his creative instincts began to take over and he would play up front more and more often. In his time with SO Caillolais, Cantona played in more than 200 matches, and it was said that, "at nine, he was already playing like a fifteen-year-old".
Cantona's first professional club was Auxerre, where he spent two years in the youth team before making his debut on 5 November 1983, in a 4–0 league victory over Nancy.

The whole of 1984 saw Cantona's footballing career put on hold as he carried out his national service. After his discharge he was loaned out to Martigues in the French Second Division. Rejoining Auxerre and signing a professional contract in 1986, his performances in the First Division were good enough to earn him his first full international cap. However, the first of his disciplinary problems had already begun when in 1987 he was fined for punching team mate Bruno Martini in the face

When Auxerre coach Guy Roux took his team to a ski resort for a weekend there was a youth race for the best young cross country skiers in France at the same place. Roux asked to use the track after the race was over. He then sent his players out on skis and they had a race in the tracks used in the youth race. Cantona won the race against his team mates and actually finished in a time that would have given him 5th place in the youth race.

The following year, Cantona was again in trouble because of a dangerous tackle on Nantes player, Michel Der Zakarian, resulting in a three game suspension, later reduced to two, as his club Auxerre threatened to make the player unavailable for selection in the national team. He was part of the French under-21 side that won the 1988 U21 European Championship and shortly after that success, he transferred to Marseille, the club he supported as a boy, for a French record fee (FF22m). Cantona had quite often shown signs of being 'short tempered' in his career to date, and in January 1989 during a friendly game against Torpedo Moscow he kicked the ball at the crowd and ripped off and threw away his jersey after being substituted. His club responded by banning him for a month. Just a few months earlier, he had been banned from international matches for one year after insulting the national coach on TV.

Having struggled to settle at Marseille, Cantona moved to Bordeaux on a six-month loan and then to Montpellier on a year-long loan. At Montpellier, he was involved in a fight with team-mate Jean-Claude Lemoult and threw his boots in Lemoult's face. The incident led to six players demanding that Cantona be sacked. However, with the support of team-mates such as Laurent Blanc and Carlos Valderrama, the club retained his services though banned him for ten days. Cantona was instrumental as the team went on to win the French Cup and his form persuaded Marseille to take him back.

Back at Marseille, Cantona initially played well under coach Gerard Gili and his successor Franz Beckenbauer. However, the Marseille chairman Bernard Tapie was not satisfied with the results, and replaced Beckenbauer with Raymond Goethals, with whom Cantona did not see eye-to-eye. Cantona was also continually at odds with Tapie and despite helping the team win the French Division 1 title, he was transferred to Nîmes the following season.

In December 1991, during a match for Nîmes he threw the ball at the referee, having been angered by one of his decisions. He was summoned to a disciplinary hearing by the French Football Federation and was banned for one month. Cantona responded by walking up to each member of the hearing committee in turn and calling him an "idiot". His ban was increased to three months. For Cantona, this was the last straw and he announced his retirement from football in December 1991.

The French national team coach Michel Platini was a keen fan of Cantona, and persuaded him to make a comeback because he admired his talent. On the advice of Gérard Houllier as well as his psychoanalyst, he moved to England to restart his career, "He [my psychoanalyst] advised me not to sign for Marseille and recommended that I should go to England

eric cantona pictures
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eric cantona pictures

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