Eric Cantona, the Frenchman who once starred at Manchester United and is now the New York Cosmos director of soccer, sat down for an interview with David Hirshey, who notes that Cantona spent his career making something out of nothing on the soccer field -- and right now the Cosmos have no players, no stadium, no league. But
they have launched youth academies.
"I think the question," Cantona says, "we have to ask the players at the Cosmos Academy is 'Why do you want to play professional football?' Do you want to be a great player or do you want to become rich and famous? What is your dream? If you just want to become a professional and make money, I don't want you on my team. But if you want to become the best player in the world and score a goal in the last minute to win the game, then I will help you become that."
Hirshey brought up Cantona's infamous kung-fu kick attack on a fan: "I never said I was an example. I don't want to be a role model. I don't think I'm more important than somebody trying to insult me. I'm a human being. He's a human being. We're equals and if I want to kick another human being, I do it. Who is wrong? Me for acting like a man or the press for making me into a superior person who comes from another planet?"
Asked if he had any regrets about the kung-fu kick, Cantona replied: "Yes, I regret not kicking him harder. We are not all saints. I know there are some players who take their image very seriously."