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When Eric Cantona Scored An Incredible Goal A Year After His Retirement

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When Eric Cantona Scored An Incredible Goal A Year After His Retirement

Eric Cantona returned to Manchester United a year after retiring and scored an incredible goal, in the Munich Air Disaster 40th anniversary memorial match.

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At the end of the 1996/97 Premier League season Cantona announced that he was retiring from at the age of just 30-years-old, having just scored 15 goals that season and helped United to another league title.

Fans of the club felt it was too early for the mercurial Frenchman to call it a day, and they never really got the chance to say 'au revoir' to their captain, as he announced the decision after the season finished.

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A year later United hosted a friendly between them and a Europe XI as a mixed event, it was Cantona's farewell and the 40th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, in which 11 players and staff of the club died.

The former forward picked the Europe XI and played a half for each side. In the second half, playing for his former side, Cantona scored one of the best goals of his career.

Stopping to chip nonchalantly chip the ball over the defender on the line is so wonderfully Cantona that you can't help but smile!

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The Europe XI included the likes of Laurent Blanc, who would go on to sign for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, Jean-Pierre Papin, Paul Gascoigne, former United players Mark Hughes and Bryan Robson and Cantona's brother Joel.

Goals from Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Jordi Cruyff, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, United youngster Alex Nottman and the Frenchman led to an 8-4 win for the hosts.

Cantona started the game for Europe XI, before switching at half-time. Image: PA Images
Cantona started the game for Europe XI, before switching at half-time. Image: PA Images

Cantona is attributed to being the catalyst who started the incredible run under Sir Alex Ferguson.

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The Frenchman arrived at Old Trafford in November 1992, having recently won the league title with Leeds United, he scored nine goals as the Red Devils won the league for the first time in 26 years, in the Premier League's first season.

The creative former Marseille forward won the title again in 1993/94 but his nine month suspension from football following his red card against Crystal Palace in January 1995 led to Fergie's side failing to win a third title in-a-row.

He returned the following season and United won the next two titles before he retired as a champion.

The following season, without their talisman, United lost out on the title to Arsenal.

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Bruno Fernandes has recently been compared to the Frenchman for having a similar effect on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

Topics: Football News, Manchester United, Premier League, Eric Cantona

Ryan Sidle
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