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Cantona: I should have been English

Sun, Dec 18, 2005

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Eric Cantona has declared how he wished he was English and that Malcolm Glazer was ‘propping up a bar somewhere’.

“I should have been born English,” Cantona said. “When I hear God Save the Queen it can make me cry. Much more than I cry when I hear La Marseillaise. I think Thierry Henry is a bit like me – he understands the English mentality. He gets it.”

Though Cantona admires Henry, he refused to answer questions about his country’s chances in next summer’s World Cup. He was happy to instead praise Brazil and belittle key members of the France side that won the 1998 finals without him, the captain Didier Deschamps and centre-back Marcel Desailly.

“Ronaldinho is the kind of player who makes kids dream. Kids aren’t going to walk around with Deschamps or Desailly on the back of their shirts, are they? If there were only players like Deschamps and Desailly around, there would be about 10 people who’d bother to take up professional football and they’d be their cousins and nephews.”

Cantona backed Sir Alex Ferguson to turn Manchester United around, saying. “He’s a monument. All big clubs go through difficult spells, but Manchester United will be back. Alex Ferguson has been through tough times before and knows what it takes to come through. Give him time and maybe he’ll be European champion again.”

Cantona is unimpressed that Ferguson’s fate is in the hands of an American millionaire in his first season in charge. “Glazer is a guy who looks more like he should be propping up a bar somewhere, or perhaps a bar owner. I just hope he has the humility to let other people make the decisions. People who know about football.”

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