The French football legend’s new touring agency will take fans on Europe’s most iconic football pilgrimages
ERic Cantona’s Manchester United fans called him King Eric, gave him his own chant and voted him the best player ever to wear the red shirt. He was one of the most legendary and controversial football players of his generation, leading Man United’s iconic 1990s side which also included David Beckham, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs to four Premier League titles in five years.
Since retiring from professional football in 1997, Cantona has been a renaissance man, leading the French national beach soccer team to a World Cup championship, enjoying an acting and producing career spanning more than two decades and joining, albeit virtually, the FIFA list. Ultimate Team video game.
Today, Cantona adds a tour operator to her CV. His new travel agency, Looking for CFdesigns trips that blend a love for football with a passion for the great European football cities. The four-day trips are personally organized by Cantona, each exploring the city of a legendary football club – Barcelona, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Lisbon, Liverpool or, Of course, Manchester. Outside of Europe, destinations include Buenos Aires and Casablanca.
Although there are 3.5 billion football fans worldwide, these trips were not created for the masses. They’ve been designed for the most dedicated fans of the world’s most illustrious teams – Liverpool’s Kopites, Real Madrid’s merengues, Paris Saint-Germain’s ultras – and offer a true insider look. Trips are intimate, limited to no more than 20 fans and led by passionate fans who “live and breathe their city and their club and are here to make your trip unforgettable”. There is a matchday experience seated in the “passion sections of iconic stadiums” among the most dynamic and loyal ticket holders.
Non-gaming activities are unique experiences for fans, such as singing workshops with local fan club members and walking tours with local historians taking part in sports-themed street art. For example, the trip to Liverpool includes a visit to the Anfield stadium; a stop at Taggy’s, a Mecca for Liverpool FC fans with a great beer garden; and a singing lesson at Jürgen’s Bierhaus, named after manager Jürgen Klopp. The trip to Paris unfolds in a pilgrimage to murals of Messi and Neymar and post-match snacks at L’Anamour, a Turkish haunt popular with PSG supporters. The trip to Barcelona is particularly meaty, with Catalan tapas and meals, a history lesson on the Camp Nou stadium, a visit to the famous football school Penya Barcelonista Cinc Copes and a masterclass with local agent Jorge Santome Freire .
“Our idea was to create the most passionate football journeys in the world, with charisma and soul,” Cantona said. “Everything today is optimized for the price. We wanted to optimize for passion.
Indeed, football fans will likely find the prices quite reasonable. Trips start at around $1,500 per person (€1,290), including three nights of accommodation, insider experiences, most meals, guides and game tickets. Tours start and end at destination and prices do not include transportation to and from town.
Of course, the highlight of every trip is game day. Looking FC’s first season includes nine trips, built around some of the most anticipated football matches on the calendar: Liverpool v Manchester United at Anfield, Real Madrid v FC Barcelona El Clásico at the Bernabeu and PSG v Marseille Le Classique at the Parc des Princes. in Paris.
Looking FC partners with DHARMA, the travel startup launched in 2018 that has previously launched brands such as Equinox, a leading luxury fitness brand; Culture Trip, the travel media publication; Bitso, a cryptocurrency unicorn; and Pernod Ricard, the wine and spirits producer.