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Football
A tale of two cities
Man Utd legend Cantona gets job in New York as Qatar's ex-Man City forward booted out of Asian Cup and back to Cairo.
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2011 18:34 GMT
Poles apart: Hussein Yasser's career failed to come close to that of Cantona during his brief stay in England [Reuters]

Former players from the red and blue halves of Manchester had contrasting fortunes on Wednesday, with one famous name finding the footballing gods smiling on him again while the other dipped a little further into obscurity.

Eric Cantona, who had the most impact of perhaps any foreign player when he went to Leeds and then Manchester United in the early 1990s, was named director of football for the New York Cosmos as they bid to rise from the ashes and become a force in Major League Soccer.

Meanwhile at the Asian Cup, Hussein Yasser, who played a single League Cup match for Manchester City against Doncaster Rovers on September 21, 2005, was booted out of the Qatar squad on the eve of the quarter-finals.

Yasser, 27, who also has Belgian side Royal Antwerp and Portugal's Braga on his CV, returns to Egyptian club Zamalek while hosts Qatar will take on three-times champions Japan on Friday to try and reach their first Asian Cup semi-final.

Frenchman Cantona, 44 was voted Manchester United's Player of the Century after retiring in 1997.

Powerhouse

A former powerhouse in the now-defunct North American Soccer League (NASL) who once boasted Pele and Franz Beckenbauer as players, the Cosmos folded in 1985 but relaunched last August.

Eric Cantona had a trophy-filled five years at Manchester United [GALLO/GETTY]

As yet the club has no players or stadium.

In a statement on the club website announcing Cantona's appointment, the Cosmos said the former France striker would become their Director of Soccer.

He will have "overall responsibility for all soccer-related matters, which will include the proposed first team," it said.

Cantona won four Premier League titles with United, helping them to their first championship in 26 years in 1992/93, having won the old First Division with Leeds United the year before.

His career with France stalled when Les Bleus failed to qualify for World Cup 1994.

Since retiring early at the age of 30 he has made a career as an actor, appearing in films such as 1998's Elizabeth, and as a beach football player.

In Doha, Qatar team manager Abdulrahman Al Mahmoud said on the Qatar Football Association website that Yasser's attitude had forced the Zamalek player's exclusion.

"Yasser was removed because his response wasn't up to the expectations and he was absent from some training sessions," he said.

Yasser was substituted in the hosts' opening 2-0 defeat by Uzbekistan and was an unused substitute in the Group A wins over China and Kuwait.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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