It would be a hard task to find someone who doesn’t appreciate what Eric Cantona brought to English football. For both Leeds United and Manchester United, the Frenchman was an amazing player. “King Eric” won four titles during his spell at Old Trafford and scored 82 goals in 185 games.
However, sometimes his comments and analysis of the modern game fail to find the mark. Quoted by the Guardian, speaking ahead of the Laureus Sports Awards, which are taking place in Shanghai on Wednesday, the Red Devils legend told reporters who he believed was the best player in the world.
Forget Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or his teammate Neymar, the player the Frenchman puts above all others, is Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore.
“For me, the best player in the world is Javier Pastore,” said Cantona.
“I watched two PSG games just to see him play. For me, he is the most creative player at the moment. Pastore is full of surprises. I love this kind of player.”
There is no doubt that the Argentine playmaker has enjoyed one of his best seasons in Paris, but to put him above both Ronaldo and Messi is a little short-sighted.
He has been a huge part of PSG’s success this season, scoring three goals and providing six assists, but 16 assists in his last three seasons, especially in a team that features Zlatan Ibrahimovic, isn’t the return you’d expect from one of the best in the world.
Perhaps Cantona has only watched those two games and missed some of the appearances when Pastore has gone missing, but these comments should be taken with a pinch of salt.
PSG fans will be hoping that Pastore can play better than Messi and Neymar when they meet Barcelona on Wednesday night in the Champions League quarter-final.