Thursday 23 January 2020

'I should have hit him harder' - Eric Cantona's only regret about kung-fu kick incident

Eric Cantona
Eric Cantona
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona admits he has one major regret following his infamous kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace fan back in 1995 - as he wished he thumped his nemesis a little harder!

In comments that will doubtless enhance his already iconic status among United fans, the Frenchman suggested he had no regrets over an incident that led to him being banned from the game by the FA for eight months following his flying kick and punch directed at abusive Palace fan Matthew Simmons at Selhurst Park.

Speaking in an interview in Four Four Two, the maverick Cantona didn't try attempt to show any remorse for his actions and instead, he suggested he did not go far enough as he lashed out at Simmons.

"I didn’t punch him strong enough. I should have punched him harder," stated Cantona.

"I didn’t think that I had a responsibility not to do it because of who I was. No, I was just a footballer and a man.

"I don’t care about being some sort of superior person. I just wanted to do whatever I wanted to do. If I want to kick a fan, I do it.

"I’m not a role model. I’m not a superior teacher, telling you how to behave. I think the more you see, the more you realise that life is a circus."

Cantona went on to suggest he has not looked back on football of the incident in the years since, as he reflected the whole affair left him more than a little annoyed.

"I didn’t watch it. Because I knew. All I had was journalists around my house. That’s all I could see," he reflected. "My house was small. They blocked the light.

"But I played that moment, at Selhurst Park. It was a drama and I was an actor. I do things seriously without taking myself seriously.

"I think Nike found that side of my character and used it very well. Even when I kicked the fan, it’s because I don’t take myself seriously."

Memories of Cantona's moment of madness have been replayed time and again down the years, with this commentary from the then Capital Gold radio host Jonathan Pearce capturing the madness perfectly.

Have you ever heard Jonathan Pearce's commentary of Cantona's kung-fu kick? It's absolute class

— Barry McCann (@Bazzinho9) September 15, 2015

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