Eric Daniel Pierre Cantona was born on May 24, 1966 in Marseilles, France.
In a career that spanned 14 years, he played for Auxerre, Martigues, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Montpelier, Nimes, Leeds United and most famously, the club where he became The King, Manchester United.
Cantona signed for Manchester United after the Leeds chairman phoned to inquire about signing Denis Irwin. Sir Alex Ferguson said he wasn't for sale, but, having recently missed out on David Hirst, Brian Deane and Matt Le Tissier, made an unexpected offer for Cantona. Leeds accepted and the £1.2 million deal was done within days.
He won four Premier league titles with Man Utd and two FA Cups. Before Cantona joined, United had not won the league for 26 years. The previous season he had also won the league championship with Leeds and became the first player to win back-to-back titles with different teams.
On January 25, 1995, Cantona was embroiled in controversy after an incident at Selhurst Park. Having been sent off in a match against Crystal Palace, he launched into his infamous kung fu kick against a spectator, followed by volley of punches.
In a press conference to explain his kung- fu kick, he gave his most famous and enigmatic quote: "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much."
The Manchester United fans still sing Eric Cantona's name, despite his retirement in 1997. He said: "I'm so proud the fans still sing my name, but I fear tomorrow they will stop. I fear it because I love it. And everything you love, you fear you will lose."
Cantona also played 45 times for France, scoring 20 goals.