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Jan 19, 2011

Cantona back in football

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona is making a shock return to the game as director of soccer at New York Cosmos.

• Eric Cantona: King of Old Trafford
•  The rebirth of the Cosmos

The Cosmos are rising from the flames, with their eventual aim being to secure a place in MLS, and they are determined to make a huge impact. Chairman Paul Kemsley has recruited Cantona with the brief of assembling a squad capable of challenging for honours.

"I am very honoured to join the legendary New York Cosmos," Cantona said. "It's a big project, a wonderful project. The Cosmos are very strong, beautifully made, with a great past. It's kind of a mix between football and art.

"I will do everything I can to help us first find our way to regain the No. 1 position in the United States, and then for us to become one of the best clubs in the world."

Kemsley admits it is a dream come true to be able to recruit the former France international. He said: "Three years ago, when I first had the idea of reviving the New York Cosmos, I couldn't have dreamt we'd be able to attract an icon of the likes of Eric Cantona to the club.

"It's a personal thrill for me, as he was one of my heroes, and it is a further endorsement to the global attraction and power that the New York Cosmos carries."

The Cosmos were the flagbearer of the United States' North American Soccer League but they folded in 1985 after the league's collapse. Kemsley bought the naming rights and has Pele on board as club president.

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