Sir Alex Ferguson has welcomed Eric Cantona's surprise return to football as director of soccer at the New York Cosmos.
Since quitting Manchester United in 1997, the charismatic Frenchman has never shown any inclination to return to the 11-a-side game, instead launching a successful acting career and becoming one of the faces of beach football.
However, earlier this week the 44-year-old was confirmed as director of soccer at the New York Cosmos organisation, which is attempting to recreate the club once home to Pele and Franz Beckenbauer during the now-defunct North American Soccer League.
Former Tottenham vice-chairman Paul Kemsley is intent on the Cosmos becoming the 20th team to join Major League Soccer, providing city rivalry with the New York Red Bulls.
Cantona's status is sure to attract attention, and Ferguson feels it is a wise move to get the former France international involved.
United they stand: Ferguson signed Cantona from Leeds in 1992
'I am delighted for Eric,' said Ferguson. 'It is quite an innovative move by New York Cosmos.
'They are rebuilding their team and although it doesn't start until next year, whether they want Eric's knowledge, charisma or personality, it will be interesting for him.'
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Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Paul Kemsley Places: New York, France