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22nd of October 2018

Sport



Eric Cantona joins Manchester United player Juan Mata in Common Goal

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has joined Juan Mata and the Common Goal project in another high-profile addition for the social movement.

Cantona, 52, is arguably the initiative's most famous addition as members of the football industry attempt to transform the lives of young people across the world. Common Goal was established last year with the intention of encouraging football figures to donate at least one per cent of their annual wages to football charities.

United great Cantona, who lifted four Premier Leagues and two FA Cups in four-and-a-half memorable years with the club in the 90s, announced his 'signing' in a first person piece for The Players' Tribune, where he spoke of his family history, his freedom, and his hope for 'a more sustainable, positive and inclusive football'.

Common Goal announced Cantona will assume the newly-created position of 'Common Goal Mentor' and 'will now place the full force of his unique and powerful personality behind one of the fastest growing social movement in world sport'. Common Goal currently has over 60 active football players as members, along with coaches, organisations and an entire football club.

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Cantona, who is due to make an appearance in Manchester at The Lowry on October 28, will represent the movement and promote the Common Goal cause.

The Frenchman has long been an advocate for the social power of football and has been an active campaigner against homelessness. Recently, Cantona visited the streetfootballworld member Associação CAIS in Lisbon; an organisation that uses the game to support those suffering from extreme poverty and homelessness.

Mata's former teammate Shinji Kagawa, Bayern Munich and Germany centre-back Mats Hummels, Juventus' Giorgio Chiellini, United States Women's National Team duo Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann, former Arsenal midfielder Serge Gnabry, Stuttgart's Dennis Aogo, Australian Alex Brosque and Fenerbahce's Hasan Ali Kaldırım have already pledged to donate one per cent of their salaries to Common Goal.

Sir Alex Ferguson signed Cantona for £1.25million from Leeds in November 1992 after Dion Dublin suffered a broken league and amid concerns over United's goalscoring prowess. Six months later, United secured their first championship in 26 years and Ferguson hailed Cantona as the 'catalyst' who sparked a 20-year period of hegemony in which United clinched 13 Premier League titles.

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