Much has rained since Eric Cantona leave for the memory one of the most shocking images in the history of football, when he launched a flying kick at a spectator during a Crystal palace against Manchester United. It was on January 25, 1995 and to this day the French player still does not regret what happened.
Cantona was sent off during the game and took his time leaving the field. Something that infuriated the fans of a Crystal Palace that filled Selhurst Park. The insults became the soundtrack of the United player’s walk to the locker room, where he stopped after hearing a fan named Matthew Simmons call him “Shitty French”. Then, the madness was unleashed in the form of a flying kick to the chest of the fan sitting in the front row of the stands.
“I was insulted thousands of times and I never reacted, but sometimes one is fragile. I only regret not having kicked him even harder. I was sanctioned without playing for nine months. They used me as an example.”, says Éric Cantona 26 years later in a new documentary by Sky called The United Way.
“It was a friendly one, but the photographer was on top of a tree outside and took the photo. Unfortunately, it didn’t fall. The next day it was in the newspapers and the FA wanted to expel me for even more months.”, recalls Cantona himself. “Sir Alex [Ferguson] he knew how to find the right words. He always loved me and respected me. Like a father, “says the former player. “Other teams would have fired me … That’s the difference between United and the others”.