Ander Herrera has revealed that Manchester United legend Eric Cantona was his idol when he was growing up.
Speaking to MUTV, Herrera, who joined United from Athletic Bilbao in June, discussed his early years at Real Zaragoza and the players he used to enjoy watching whilst living in Spain.
The 24-year-old highlighted his admiration for Cantona’s character and his focus on winning as well as other players who have influenced his career.
“I always watched Eric Cantona, Zinedine Zidane and, while he was at Real Zaragoza, Gustavo Poyet, who is now the Sunderland coach,” Ander explained.
“I liked [Cantona’s] character, he was a winner and always worked hard, he never lost one ball and was always thinking about the victory. This group of players [at United] have those same characteristics. We always want to win, we want to play well for the Man United supporters and Eric Cantona had those characteristics. Of course, he had personality too.”
Herrera is already showing that he understands the history of United and the significance of playing for the club, acknowledging that personality alone will not be enough to succeed at Old Trafford – hard work has to come first.
He added: “But it was not only Cantona who had personality; Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. United do not only sign good players, but workers as well.
“United sign people who work hard, train hard and who are good professionals. It is a dream for me to be here because this history is very big and now I have the chance to play here. I have the possibility to show my own character for United.”
The Spaniard made a solid start to Manchester United career playing the full 90 minutes in the 7-0 victory against LA Galaxy and picking up the Chevrolet ‘Man of the Match’ award. He looked sharp and eager to get forward at every opportunity but never neglected his defensive duties.
The midfielder displayed exactly the right attitude for the duration of the match, typified by his disappointment at over-hitting a through ball to Ashley Young when United were already 4-0 up.