Eric Cantona has heralded his new music career with the release of his first single and a video to accompanying it ahead of the Manchester United legend’s upcoming album and tour.
The 57-year-old debuted ‘The Friends We Lost’ on Friday in yet another example of his creativity – long in evidence on the pitch – beyond football.
‘King Eric’ retired from playing at the age of 30 after star-studded stints at Leeds and Man United saw him win five league titles in six seasons.
Upon hanging up his boots in 1997, Cantona began accepting film roles, his first part in English that of the French ambassador Monsieur Le Foix in Cate Blanchett vehicle Elizabeth.
A steady slew of acting work for the Premier League Hall of Famer followed, including a role at the centre of auteur Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric, which was nominated for the Palme D’or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Eric Cantona has announced his music career with the release of his new single and its video
The Man United legend’s poetic take on life and loss was filmed in an urban wasterland
In Cantona’s individual poetic style, his first single is rich with imagery, with Cantona singing about ‘a red snake in the water’ and referencing laughing and drinking ‘with the vampires’ in his ode to the twists and turns of life.
The accompanying video cuts between the former forward surrounded by a band playing in an abandoned industrial landscape, moodily shot in black and white, and scenes in colour following a teenager.
Between shots of Cantona, the video sees the boy coming face to face with an eerily-similar aged mask of himself, the following figures in black along a disused train track.
Later in the video, the camera tracks the hooded figures processing down a beach and into the water, whilst Cantona croons into a vintage-style microphone.
Cantona’s transformation into a rockstar lyricist will come as little surprise to those that followed the France international during his playing career.
Parallel to black and white footage of Cantona, the video follows a younger man in more surreal style
Masked and hooded figures in black are a recurring motif in the video’s parallel story
After his infamous ‘kung-fu kick’ of an abusive supporter in the stands at Selhurst Palace in 1995, Cantona gave reporters pause when he made a statement after receiving his criminal sentencing in court.
In a press conference after his sentence of 120 hours community service was handed out, Cantona refused to answer questions, saying only: ‘When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much.’
He immediately left the conference room.
Cantona showed off his love of language during the 2019 UEFA Champions League draw, whilst being awarded the organisation’s President’s Award.
After first quoting from William Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’, Cantona added: ‘Soon the science will not only be able to slow down the ageing of the cells, soon the science will fix the cells to the state and so we will become eternal.
‘Only accidents, crimes, wars, will still kill us but unfortunately, crimes, wars, will multiply. I love football. Thank you.’
In 1995 the player caused a stir with his philosophical take on his recent criminal sentencing
Cantona was awarded a spot in the Premier League Hall of Fame for his contributions at United
In a press release on his new single’s launch, Cantona compared the song’s spirit to that of the ‘eagle’.
‘When I’m asked how I’d like to be reincarnated, I always say: as an eagle. The lyrics are meant for this eagle, I ask it how it feels in full flight, surrounded by silence and the wholeness,’ Cantona said.
‘Of course, I could have been more specific, given the names of close ones I’d lost, but it wouldn’t have allowed the listener to make it his own, and relate to it as part of his own story.
‘I wanted to express this feeling that overwhelms me at times, that I hadn’t enjoyed those good moments spent with friends and family intensely enough.’
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