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‘It’s like a family’ – Iconic Manchester United captain Eric Cantona looks back on his love affair with the club

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona recently opened up on his life at the club while speaking on the occasion marking 30 years since his debut.

United signed Cantona from Leeds United in November 1992. The Frenchman carved out a legacy at the club, scoring 82 goals in the club’s number seven jersey.

He was the captain for the 1996/97 season and led the team to the Premier League title. During his time at Old Trafford, Cantona won the league four times and the FA Cup twice. He unexpectedly announced his retirement from football in 1997.

In an interview with Manchester United TV, Cantona opened up the 30 years he has been associated with the club.    

“It feels like yesterday, yes,” Cantona said. “The date I have more in my mind is from when I retired from football, so in my mind, it’s 25 years already, but when I signed 30 years ago, I realise that time goes so fast. So fast for everybody.”

When asked how he felt the day he signed for United 30 years ago, Cantona stated that he knew he had arrived at a great club. 

“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 added.

“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 [of] great players had played for the club.”

He also praised Sir Alex Ferguson, who he says gave him a lot of confidence to go and perform without any pressure.  

During the interview, Cantona also detailed how his time at United was an education for him. 

“The time I had in Manchester was a great time for me,” Cantona said. “I will always look back on it with family and friends, and it was a kind of education for me, you know.

“What I am today is because of my parents, my family, my best friends, and because of the time I had in Manchester with everybody.”

He also added that the person he is today is because of all the experiences he has had in his life and the time he spent in Manchester.