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05/12/2012 09:20, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Cantona interview: Aug 2006

these things are very, very important. Sometimes it’s good to take the pressure off and relax but if you think you can do the things at 25 that you did at 18 you’re wrong. At the same time if you do things that are not so good for you as a professional when you’re 18, you can end up burning yourself out two or three years later and find yourself completely out of the game by the time you’re 25. Many young players are in the spotlight whether it is the first time they play for their club or the first time they play for their national team. After that happens you find yourself with a lot of friends, all the girls like you and you are invited everywhere. You need to be strong enough to deal with that and be able to say yes or no. I remember when people started to recognise me and began inviting me to places. I would go once or maybe twice but it would always be my decision, I was not influenced by others. It helped me understand people and I became more experienced with people and with life. Sometimes it’s okay to do things and go to some places, as long as it doesn’t have a negative effect on your career. All the best players in the world knew that these kinds of things are very important and if Rooney is mentally strong enough, he can become one of the best. United have now gone three seasons without winning the title.

Do you believe they can overcome Chelsea next season?
Yes I’m sure United will come good. They are building a team for the future whereas Chelsea are building a team for today and maybe the next one or two years. Year after year they will buy player after player after player and sometimes it will work and sometimes it won’t. I think you are stronger when you build a team or a generation of players who can play together for ten years. That’s why I believe United will win more Championships than Chelsea in the next ten years, I’m sure of that.

What similarities do you see between Sir Alex and Jose Mourinho?
They are both winners and psychologically very strong which is very important in terms of the influence they have on their players and the way in which they deal with the press and the provocation from the press. They are both very good at knowing what to say, when to say it and why they need to say it. That can be very important, perhaps even as important as the way their teams play because when they say things the media attention is on them and not the players, so the players can play without pressure.

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