Cantona to coach Man Utd or England, says Cantona
Eric Cantona has said that he has ambitions to manage Manchester United one day, and if he doesn't get that job, then he'd like to take over as England boss.
The Frenchman crowned "King Eric" by United fans, captured four league titles and two FA Cups in five years and retired in 1997 at the age of 30; although now has a budding film career and has taken his first steps into management in beach soccer.
The 43-year-old may be coach of the French beach soccer team, but is in no doubt his destiny lies at the helm of one of the world's biggest soccer teams.
"I don't know in how many years' time, but my name is already written on the Manchester United bench," he said in an interview in Monday's La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I'm not saying (Alex) Ferguson will go. I hope with all my heart that he has eternal life with the Reds."
But Cantona's Plan B is no less ambitious, as he harbours hopes of graduating to manage a national side.
"The only alternative possible for me is the English national team," he said. "I like Fabio Capello a lot, as a man and a motivator. He's tough, precise and attentive to details.
"But I assure that sooner or later you will see me at the helm of England because I'm part of the history of Manchester (United). I'm number one."
In the more immediate future, Cantona's former club's focus is very much on retaining the Champions League trophy in Wednesday's final against Barcelona in Rome.
The Frenchman will miss the Eternal City showpiece as 'Looking for Eric' - a film about Cantona's life, directed by Ken Loach - is being screened in Paris on the night of the big game.
''The players are in top form,'' said Cantona. ''This team is the strongest that Ferguson has had and the credit is all his.
''He is able to bring out the best of each player and makes them develop one by one to get 100% out of them. He should be an example for each coach.''
Cantona knows Barcelona have a lot of individual talent but reckons United's team as a whole is superior to Pep Guardiola's Spanish champions.
''They have (Samuel) Eto'o, (Lionel) Messi and (Thierry) Henry, who score a lot,'' he said. ''But you need to look at the whole picture. In this (United's) group there is a lot of altruism, generosity between players, solidity and balance in a matured group.
''We have a great defence and in the latter stages of the season we have achieved much more solidity and awareness of the strength of the team.''