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Eric Cantona making football rebels doc for Al Jazeera

Ex-France and Manchester United football star Eric Cantona is making Football Rebels, a documentary series for Al Jazeera about football heroes who have shaped the history of their country.

Cantona, who unexpectedly retired from the game aged 30 in 1997, will present and narrate the five-part doc series. Each episode will tell the story of a footballers who has used their fame and influence to shape the political and social fabric of their country.

The first episode will feature former Chelsea and Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba and subsequent installments will profile Saint Etienne striker Rachid Mekhloufi, the former Yugoslav star Predrag Pasic and Chilean player Carlos Caszely. The final episode will feature Brazil and Corinthians legend Sócrates.

Cantona said: “Football is more than the opium of the people. It’s about good intentions, noble hearts… When your country’s at war, your friends are killing each other and children are given rifles rather than footballs, so what if the whole world admires you!”

Al Jazeera will make the series and it will debut on March 11 in a 10.30pm slot. The state-funded news channel group will make episodes of Football Rebels available on its website the day after they are shown on TV.