Eric Cantona was the player who changed everything for Manchester United.
The missing link; the talisman that United needed to take Alex Ferguson’s side to an extra level, and to claim the inaugural Premier League title in 1993, their first championship in 26 years.
Voted their greatest ever player by Inside United magazine, no one could forget the beauty, the majesty and - yes, sometimes - the ferocity of Cantona’s performances in a United shirt, complete with trademark upturned collar. And, when he retired from football in 1997 at the age of just 30, after claiming four titles in five seasons, the footballing world lost an icon.
But now, King Eric is coming home.
It’s been confirmed that he will sensationally be returning to Old Trafford on Sunday 10 June to take part in Soccer Aid for Unicef.
He’ll be back to reclaim his throne alongside Usain Bolt and the Soccer Aid World XI to take on Robbie Williams’ star-studded England side in the latest instalment of the charity match.
Eric Cantona said: “There is no place like home. Knowing I am coming back to Old Trafford is a special feeling and I am looking forward to seeing the stands full of familiar faces.
“My message is this: Soccer Aid for Unicef is a game like no other because of the support you give it. I am coming back to make the June 10th match the best ever and I want you to join me. Let’s make history together at Old Trafford again one last time.”
Eric joins an incredible array of superstars from the footballing world and beyond playing in this year’s match. So far, the lineup includes: Robbie Williams, Usain Bolt, Sir Mo Farah, Gordon Ramsay, Olly Murs, Mark Wright, Brendan Cole, Joe Wicks, Clarence Seedorf, Robert Pirès, Yaya Tourè, Jaap Stam, Patrick Kluivert, Edwin van der Sar, Kevin Pietersen, Dan Carter, David Seaman, Phil Neville, Jamie Redknapp, Danny Murphy, Robbie Fowler, Michael Sheen and Ben Shephard.
Soccer Aid has so far raised an incredible £24m for Unicef UK in six matches over 12 years and, with Eric’s return confirmed, it’s bound to be a sell-out.
The game takes place at Old Trafford on Sunday 10 June, just four days before the World Cup kicks off, and it will be broadcast live on ITV, with viewers encouraged to donate. Kick off is 8pm.
The only question remains: will Eric be able to score a goal as good as this?
Hmmm, yeah, he probably will won’t he…
(Images: Getty/Soccer Aid)