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22/03/2013 10:33, Report by Gemma Thompson

Great captains: Cantona

What makes a great United captain? It's a question Manchester United Soccer Schools are asking in their Take the Lead campaign and we thought we’d try to answer it. ManUtd.com's Gemma Thompson uses her favourite example: Eric Cantona...

What made him a great captain? Cool and charismatic – few footballers oozed class quite like King Eric, on and off the pitch. Never one for shouting and screaming, Eric simply inspired those around him by the way he trained, played and continually made the difference at the most crucial times in matches. The final piece in Sir Alex’s jigsaw, he was the catalyst for a period of success United fans could only have imagined in their wildest dreams. As captain he was - somewhat surprisingly for someone renowned for hotheadedness - a mature figure that younger players looked to for guidance. 

Most memorable moment? Inspiring ‘the kids’ to Double glory in ’96. After countless vital goals to clinch the title on his return from a nine-month suspension, a dull FA Cup final against Liverpool was lit up by Eric’s late moment of magic, and his journey from villain to victor was complete.

Find out more about the Manchester United Soccer Schools Take the Lead campaign at manutdsoccerschools.com/takethelead.

More great captains: Robson | Bruce | Keane | Neville | Vidic

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