Manchester United legend Eric Cantona will make a sensational return to football as the director of New York Cosmos.
The cult US team are on their way back to the MLS and are determined to revive the showbiz flavour of the side that shone in the 70s and 80s.
Cantona, who has distanced himself from the game since his abrupt retirement from United in 1997, revealed he was delighted to take the opportunity.
He said: 'I am very honoured to join the legendary New York Cosmos. It's a big project, a wonderful project. The Cosmos are very strong, beautifully made, with a great past. It's kind of a mix between football and art.
'I will do everything I can to help us first find our way to regain the No 1 position in the United States, and then for us to become one of the best clubs in the world.'
Cantona has been tasked with assembling a squad capable of challenging for honours. Cosmos attempted to boost thegrowth of US football in the 70s when they recruited ageing stars such as Pele, Bobby Moore, Franz Beckenbauer and Euesbio.
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They eventually folded in 1985 after the collapse of the league. Cosmos chairman Paul Kemsley, a former vice-chairman of Tottenham, has already installed Pele as president and is overjoyed to add Cantona to their ranks.
He said: 'Three years ago, when I first had the idea of reviving the New York Cosmos, I couldn't have dreamt we'd be able to attract an icon of the likes of Eric Cantona to the club.
'It's a personal thrill for me, as he was one of my heroes, and it is a further endorsement to the global attraction and power that the New York Cosmos carries.'
The Cosmos were the flagbearer of the United States' North American Soccer League but they folded in 1985 after the league's collapse. Kemsley bought the naming rights and has Pele on board as club president.
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