Eric Cantona opens up on leaving Leeds to join Man United

This week marked 30 years since Eric Cantona joined Manchester United and almost a third of a century later, he remains one of the club’s most iconic figures.

Cantona retired just five years later at the age of 30 but the Frenchman has described his five years at United as some of the best years of his life.

Since retiring in 1997, Cantona has taken up a number of roles in football but he has remained involved with United and is often seen at various events.

On the anniversary of his signing, Cantona has opened up on his controversial move from Leeds United to Manchester United in 1992, just months after Leeds won the final First Divison league title.

“When I signed we had just been champions with Leeds, but I hadn’t been in England very long, I hadn’t even been there a year,” Cantona is quoted as saying by the official Manchester United website.

“I arrived at the start of the year [1992] and I signed for United in November. I knew that I had arrived at a great club and knew that a lot great players had played for the club.

“I had everything to prove and sometimes for some players to play at a great club they can feel paralysed, you know, they don’t play at that level because they feel too much pressure.

“But when I arrived in Manchester everyone gave me the confidence I needed to express myself and I was very lucky to play alongside wonderful players and play for Alex Ferguson who gave me this confidence.

“It was all enjoyment for me, I didn’t feel any pressure. I just had the pressure that we all need in order to express yourself and to enjoy it, and I did that.”

Cantona recently starred in a high-production promotional video to highlight the importance of the legendary number seven shirt at United, a number he helped make famous.

Since his departure, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the stars to wear the iconic digit but United are now searching for the next superstar after Ronaldo left the club in November.

Ronaldo’s controversial exit has led to countless links to some of Europe’s most promising strikers but Cody Gakpo appears to be one of the favourites to join, with reports earlier on Sunday claiming United have agreed personal terms with the Dutchman.

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