18 Jul 2010

Cantona says foreigners ruining England's World Cup dream

6:43 am on 18 July 2010

The former Manchester United football star Eric Cantona says the vast numbers of foreign players in the English Premier League could lead to England failing to qualify for the World Cup in future.

The French forward won the English Premier League title with Leeds before moving to Old Trafford in 1992, where he proved the inspiration behind United's first championship for 26 years and the club's subsequent run of success.

But Cantona was one of only 12 overseas players in the competition at the start of the 1992-93 season, whereas now homegrown stars are easily outnumbered by foreigners.

England's poor performance at the World Cup underlined the problem, and Cantona says if the trend continues, it'll be difficult to select a quality English team in just ten year's time.

New regulations introduced this season state that Premier League clubs must include at least eight English players, who must've been registered by the club for three seasons prior to his 21st birthday, in a 25-man squad.

But Cantona says only a more strict cap on foreign signings will stop the England team spiralling into a prolonged period of abject failure.