Failed transfers: When Eric Cantona almost joined Atlético Madrid

Eric Cantona was struggling to make an impact at Marseille and joined Nimes. In December 1991, during a match for Nimes, he threw the ball at the match referee. He was summoned to a disciplinary hearing by the French Football Federation and was banned for one month.

Cantona’s suspension was later increased to two months. That suspension ended Cantona’s time with Nimes, and he went on to announce that he was retiring from football at the age of 25.

Atlético Madrid entered talks to sign Cantona but the fees involved were a problem for the Spanish side.

Due to the club’s financial problems and Cantona’s troublesome past, Atlético pulled out, although agent Toni Ballester, who was based in France, tried to convince them to sign him.

Cantona eventually left France for Leeds in 1992 and later signed for Manchester United, becoming one of the club’s best ever players.

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