Thu, Aug 4, 2011
Eric Cantona has warned that Manchester City will never emulate Manchester United while they rely on big spending as the route to winning trophies.
“United are the best team. I don’t know how City work, maybe they work on the academy, but today they want to spend to build a team, to buy players.”
“They’ve been successful because they won the FA Cup, but if they only do that they will not be as strong as United who are bringing through young talent.”
Cantona also spoke out against players who claim they cannot settle in the area despite their massive wages.
“With these ‘unsettled’ players it depends where they come from – and why they come.
“If they come from Milan, maybe. If they come from – no, I don’t want to name cities, but I had a great time here.”
“The most important thing for me was to play for the best club in the world with some of the best players in the world.”
“That’s the important thing when you’re a professional player.”
“The greatest time you can have is on the pitch. I loved Manchester when I was here, and I loved the people. I had a great time.”
Cantona heads to Old Trafford today, leading the New York Cosmos team in Paul Scholes’ testimonial match.
“It is always great to come back, especially to Old Trafford.
“Every time I come back to Manchester I go to Old Trafford. It’s very special for me and it will be even more so this time.”
With Cosmos star Pele alongside him, Cantona disputed Ferguson’s claim that Scholes would be irreplaceable.
He added: “You can replace players, especially at a club like United with a great manager like Sir Alex Ferguson. Every time a player leaves we think the club can’t win any more and they still win things because they are very strong.”
“When I was there I played with two generations of players.
“Sir Alex introduced a lot of young players, and Paul Scholes was one of them.
“Now, I come back 15 years later and the manager is still here.
“You can replace players, especially a club like United with a great manager like Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I left, Ronaldo left, Hughes left, and United are still one of the best clubs in the world.”
As always, Cantona was queried on an eventual return to Manchester United where he is still revered.
“I didn’t want to do the typical ex-player thing and hang around my old club, though I must admit it’s great to be coming back with Cosmos,” Cantona said. “If I am going to try to be a manager I wanted to do it at a special club, and that it just what the New York Cosmos is. The city is unique and the club history is legendary.”
He replied: “Maybe I’ll die before Alex Ferguson! I’m sure he’ll be on the bench for ever because it’s his life.”