Press Release

“I don’t have time to be manager. But maybe something else…” Cantona talks Jim Ratcliffe’s Manchester United in Big Issue exclusive

Eric Cantona has given a rare interview exclusive to the Big Issue, out Monday 18 March.

Eric Cantona as featured on the cover of The Big Issue (18/03/2024). Image: Big Issue

Eric Cantona as featured on the cover of The Big Issue (18/03/2024). Image: Big Issue

Exclusive to this week’s Big Issue, out today (Monday 18 March), Eric Cantona has given a rare interview ahead of the release of his live album, Cantona Sings Eric, later this month.

Cantona gives his thoughts on Manchester United as it enters a new era with new part-owner Jim Ratcliffe at the helm – and whether there’s a role for him at the club, where he remains an unparalleled legend.

“United remains full in my heart,” he tells The Big Issue. “I am involved in too many things I really love to be manager. In everything I do I work hard to give 100% so that I am able to have the confidence and to enjoy. So I don’t have the time to be manager. But maybe something else…”

“For sure with Jim Ratcliffe I think we come back as the best. The way you drive the club is important. Ratcliffe, who is a fan of United since ever, is a great businessman of course, but is also very passionate about sport.”

Asked whether he’d have been tempted to see out his career in Saudi Arabia, had it been around during his playing days, Cantona is clear and firm. “No. NO. ! When I finished my career I was only 30 years old. When I lost the passion I decided to retire. I could have played five or seven more years. I never played football for money. I would have paid a lot of money to play for Manchester United.

“Going to Saudi Arabia we can’t speak about passion of football. Just passion for making money. For old players, OK but for some players, maybe 30 years old, they’re not passionate about football, it’s better to retire. If you decide to go to Saudi Arabia, that is just money.”

A figure beyond football, Cantona has made around 30 films since retirement and moved through art and poetry – and now he’s turned his hand to music. His live album of self-written songs, Cantona Sings Eric, is out March 29th.

“I always knew that I will do something in art, any kind of arts, painting, photography, acting. Music, yeah, music is the last one. Since I retired from football I never had time to be bored because by now I have been involved in maybe 30 movies or TV series.”

He continues: “Music, it’s the closest thing to the excitement we can have when we play football. Music touches you. Every one of us. I don’t think it’s a human being that creates music. Music is a part of a human being. See a kid two years old and they start walking, they hear music and they start to dance. They never learned music. The music is something special.”

To read more, buy this week’s Big Issue. You can find your local vendor to buy a copy, or subscribe online, at bigissue.com.

Cantona Sings Eric is out 29 March on Decca. It will be followed by a live tour of UK and Ireland in April, starting in Dublin’s Liberty Hall on 10 April and ending at the Palace Theatre in Manchester on 20 April.

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