King Eric for president? Cantona eyes the Elysée

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King Eric for president? Cantona eyes the Elysée

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In the red half of Manchester, Eric Cantona is already known as ‘the King’.

Now King Eric has his eye on the Elysée Palace, the official residence of the French head of state. The footballer-turned-actor wants to run for president in his native France.

The ex-Manchester United star needs at least 500 signatures from elected officials so he can enter this year’s race.

Cantona concedes he is unlikely to win but wants to draw attention to social issues.

Charles Antoine, a Paris resident, said Cantona’s candidacy could be “a breath of fresh air”. “He could change ideas and launch a common project from which everyone benefits”, he said.

Yannick, another Parisian, said it was a good move, despite Cantona’s lack of political experience.

“He is not a favourite of the French people, even if he does do some high profile things.”

Cantona is a patron of the Abbé Pierre Foundation, which fights against homelessness and poor housing.

It is not the first time the 45-year-old has spoken out against economic injustice.

In December 2010 he failed to convince his fellow countrymen to empty their bank accounts in protest at the global financial crisis.