Eric Cantona includes two Manchester United legends in all-time World XI

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Eric Cantona is widely remembered in England for two things.

The lob against Sunderland in 1996, which led to the iconic ‘pirouette in a circle while thousands adore such wizards’ celebration.

That was the brighter side of the former Manchester United star’s game. He could also turn quite nasty, too.


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One year previously, Cantona received an eight-month ban for a kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace fan.

Football certainly doesn’t produce them like it once did.

The Frenchman’s post-playing days have seen him star in films and engage in political activity, but 15 years as a professional football player means he has plenty to discuss about the beautiful game.

And that’s exactly what he done in an interview with FourFourTwo, who asked the former striker to name his all-time best XI. The 49-year-old wasn’t given any stipulations to follow, such as only including players he played with, or only including current players.

Check out Cantona’s XI below.

That’s some team.

One player broke his heart

He offered an explanation as to why he selected each player and it’s the captain underneath Franz Beckenbauer’s name that is perhaps most noteworthy.

The ex-Leeds man said: “He was a leader of men, a dominant presence who could bring the ball out with grace and skill.

“But I tell you this: he broke my heart. As an eight-year-old, I watched the 1974 World Cup Final between West Germany and Holland and I was supporting the Dutch. I cried my eyes out when they lost.

“I was very sad, but now I understand all about the brilliance of the Kaiser."

Praise for Roy Keane

Manchester United fans will not the inclusion of former captain Roy Keane, who played with Cantona for four seasons in the 1990s.

Cantona said of his former teammate: “"Do I need to say why? He was the best in midfield; he could play everywhere.

“He could play the holding role and be defensive, but then he could suddenly burst forward and score goals. He was so intelligent in how he played the game and let me tell you: it felt good to have him behind me for four seasons.

“He’d win the ball and then give it to me. And what a character! He’d lead my team and inspire them."

Where's Leo Messi?

Cantina never experienced club management but he admitted he would happily take charge of this team.

Who wouldn’t? With Franz Beckenbauer in defence and George Best and Diego Maradona in attack, they would never lose.

The four-time Premier League winner added: “I thought, ‘I picked the team, so I should manage them'. I would love to take charge of this team. I know we would have some good times."

Cantona’s team suggests he doesn’t watch much football these days, otherwise Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo would be in his team.

Do you agree with Cantona's attacking three? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Manchester United
Eric Cantona
Ryan Giggs
Premier League
Wayne Rooney
Lionel Messi
Juan Mata

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