The impact Cantona had at Old Trafford is astonishing considering he was only a United player for four-and-a-half years. It is thought that United’s failure in Europe in 1997 – losing to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semi-finals when a spot in the final appeared within reach - was a decisive factor in Eric's early retirement from football.
Cole can certainly share Cantona’s pain recollecting that game. “Eric was desperate to win the European Cup and it was in that time that we should have been challenging in Europe and we didn’t quite manage it. We lost to Dortmund at Old Trafford in 1997 and to this day people ask how we managed to lose that tie. And I still don’t know how. But that’s football.”