Tue, Jul 5, 2011
Patrice Evra has thanked former Eric Cantona for “opening the door” to French players at Manchester United.
Cantona became the club’s first French player when he made the switch from Leeds in 1992, and became a fan favourite in the five years he spent at Old Trafford.
Evra remembers watching Cantona on television in France, and believes the striker paved the way for French players to succeed at United.
“I already knew Cantona was ‘The King’, but I really discovered who he was when I arrived here,” Evra told the club’s official website, manutd.com.
“He is a legend. If French football players like me succeed at United, it is him who first opened the doors for us. We will never thank him enough for that.”
“During my first season, I watched lots of Eric’s DVDs and told myself, ‘You now know what the United fans are expecting from the French players’.”
Since Cantona first appeared for United, a further eight French players – William Prunier, Mikael Silvestre, Fabien Barthez, Laurent Blanc, David Bellion, Louis Saha, Patrice Evra and Gabriel Obertan – have turned out for the club.