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'An artist, in my eyes, is someone who can lighten up a dark room. I have never and will never find difference between the pass from Pele to Carlos Alberto in the final of the World Cup in 1970, and the poetry of the young Rimbaud' - Eric Cantona Football, and art. Eric Cantona - legend, maverick, troubled artist or just plain trouble - never saw a need to make a distinction between the two. For all the heat and ise surrounding his infamous Crystal Palace 'kung-fu kick', it is for the sheer exuberant beauty of his play that Eric Cantona is chiefly remembered by English football fans. At Leeds United he transformed the team into title contenders, but became a true talisman at Manchester United, where to this day fans sing of 'King Eric'. And yet the effortless style of Cantona's play could t hide a darker side to his temperament. In his own words, 'I play with passion and fire. I have to accept that sometimes, this fire does harm.' Leading French football journlist Philippe Auclair has interviewed over 200 key protagonists in Cantona's career, searching for the man behind the myth. Marrying a deep kwledge of Cantona's impact on the pitch with soulful, pin-sharp insight into the heart and inner thoughts of this most complex of characters, this is thing less than the definitive biography of a one-time rebel of the French game, who rose to be the King of Old Trafford. 'I'd give all the champagne I've ever drunk to be playing alongside Cantona in a big European match at Old Trafford' - George Best.
Philippe Auclair has been a correspondent with France Football for over a decade, and is a prolific freelance journalist on both sides of the Channel. He is also Radio Monte Carlo's main match commentator, and a bestselling author in his native France. He lives in London.
Winner of British Sports Book Awards: Best Football Book 2010.