Eric Cantona, in his latest acting triumph

Cantona_1Manchester United fans probably still haven’t gotten over Eric Cantona‘s decision, almost a decade ago, to quit professional soccer in his prime, at age 30, to pursue an acting career. The enigmatic Frenchman was an exceptional soccer player, one of the best ever. As an actor, he’s exceptionally mediocre. (It was cringe-inducing to see Cantona, whom Man U fans called "Eric the King," stumble through a bit part in Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett.) The funny thing is, his most reliable acting roles seem to come in soccer commercials. He served as the referee in Nike’s "Secret Tournament" spots during the 2002 World Cup. And now, Adrants reports, he’s fronting a Nike campaign for the 2006 World Cup, exhorting people to "Play beautiful," much as he once did. He may not win any acting awards in his lifetime, but it’s good to see him hanging out with soccer players again.

—Posted by Tim Nudd