Eric Cantona is football's philosopher king, who hung up his boots early in order to pursue a passion for acting and directing films, along with other earthly pleasures.
A Premier League icon, Cantona shone for Manchester United in particular, leading the Red Devils to four league crowns and two FA Cups, but he is also fondly remembered in France, having scored 20 goals for Les Bleus during his career.
He bowed out of football at the top of his game, but his earning power remains significant even as his time in retirement stretches into the third decade.
So, how much is Cantona worth and what sort of endorsement deals does he have? Goal takes a look.
On this page
- What is Eric Cantona's net worth?
- What is Eric Cantona's salary?
- What endorsement deals & sponsorships does Eric Cantona have?
- What charity work does Eric Cantona do?
- How many social media followers does Eric Cantona have?
- Why did Eric Cantona retire so early?
- What films has Eric Cantona been in?
|Net worth:||$25 million (£19m)|
|Source of wealth:||Football contracts, acting, endorsements, business investments|
|Date of Birth:||May 24, 1966|
|Country of birth:||France|
Cantona's net worth is estimated at around $25 million (£19m) by the website Celebrity Net Worth.
The Frenchman's wealth has been acquired chiefly through his career as a professional footballer, which spanned just under two decades, and his work as an actor.
However, he continues to earn money over two decades after he retired from playing - like many prominent ex-footballers.
Cantona's enduring status as a football icon and his unique personality means that he remains an alluring prospect to commercial partners, so he continues to pick up endorsement contracts in retirement.
The former striker is well behind many of the game's modern-day stars, but that is not surprising when one considers the vastly greater sums of money involved.
Cantona has long been retired, so he does not receive a footballers' salary, but he does earn money through endorsement deals, business investments and ambassadorial roles.
When he was a player, Cantona was among the highest earners in the Premier League, but the weekly wage back then may not seem like much when compared with salaries in the modern game.
He was initially on a £10,000-a-week deal when he joined Manchester United from Leeds United for £1.2 million in 1992, but his wages jumped to around £20,000 a week by the time he finished up in 1997.
A weekly wage of £10,000 a week works out at £520k a year and £20,000 a week amounts to just over £1 million a year, both a far cry from what top Red Devils players earn nowadays.
Cantona has had plenty of endorsement deals and commercial partners, with many carrying on their work with the former Man United man into his retirement.
He has worked with Nike since his playing days and, as well as wearing their boots, he has featured in a number of their TV advertisements, including the iconic 'Match in Hell' and 'Scorpion KO' (also known as 'The Cage' series).
In 2020 he teamed up with EA Sports to appear as an Ultimate Team Icon in FIFA 21 and appeared in a number of promotional videos to declare "The King is back!"
It was not the first time Cantona has teamed up with video game producers, having previously endorsed Super NES game 'Striker' - known as 'Eric Cantona Football Challenge' in Europe - in the 1990s.
In the lead-up to and during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Cantona recorded a number of tongue-in-cheek videos as 'The Commissioner of Football' for Eurosport.
As well as promoting other brands and products, Cantona is one of the founders of nostra cosmetics along with his wife Rachida Brakni.
Over the years, Cantona has had deals with Eurostar, Renault and even appeared in an advert for the Irish lottery.
Cantona is vocal on a variety of social issues and often helps charities that are close to his heart.
For example, he has worked with the Emmaus movement in order to raise money for campaigns against homelessness and poverty.
On the same issue, Cantona has promoted the Fondation Abbe Pierre, which seeks to create solutions for housing society's disadvantaged.
He has spoken out against domestic violence, lending his support to Women for Women France, which aims to help immigrants who suffer such abuse in France.
Cantona has been involved with Juan Mata's Common Goal, which encourages footballers to pledge at least one per cent of their salaries to charity, since 2018.
Like many other ex-footballers, Cantona has been a participant in Soccer Aid, playing for the World XI against England on two occasions.
Cantona has just under one million followers on Instagram, which is the only social media channel the Frenchman uses. His username on the platform is simply: ericcantona.
To be more precise, Cantona had roughly 866,000 followers on Instagram by the end of 2020.
He follows just over 30 accounts, including former Manchester United team-mates David Beckham and Peter Schmeichel, along with the accounts of causes he supports.
Cantona also follows the likes of Megan Rapinoe, Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt and urban artist Banksy.
It will probably come as no surprise that the only football team Cantona follows on Instagram is Manchester United.
Like many famous Instagram users, Cantona uses it to promote his commercial interests, but he also shares photos and videos of his family life.
Every now and then, he will drop a typically philosophical observation and other times he will just share a video of himself playing with a ball.
Cantona retired at the conclusion of the 1996-97 season at the age of 30, which, even by the standards of the time was premature.
The Frenchman revealed that he retired because he had lost his passion for the game and felt unwilling to make the sacrifices that are necessary at the highest level in the game.
He followed through with the decision to retire from playing football professionally despite pleas from his father, Albert, and from his boss at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson.
Later, Cantona said: "I loved the game but I no longer had the passion to go to bed early, not to go out with my friends, not to drink, and not to do a lot of other things, the things I like in life."
In a 2019 interview with Inside United, Cantona revealed that he often considered ending his self-imposed retirement.
"I always felt - until the last 10 years, or until I was about 45 - I could imagine that I could train for three or four months, or six months, and come back and play at the highest level," Cantona said.
"Sometimes you forget what you have to do to be at 100 per cent and you say: 'Oh, maybe if I could train I could come back.' But then you start to think about all the other things and say, 'oh...'."
Interestingly, in the same interview, Cantona also revealed that he stopped watching football for a number of years after he hung up his boots.
"Football is like a drug, with the adrenaline. I had to get away from it, that’s why I didn’t watch football," he said. "But now I can watch football and enjoy it."
Cantona went into acting more seriously when he retired from football and has been in more than 30 films.
Among the films he has credits in are Elizabeth (1998) starring Cate Blanchett and Ken Loach's Looking for Eric (2009), in which he played himself.
Cantona starred in the 2020 French-language miniseries Inhuman Resources, which was available to watch on Arte and Netflix.