As Ferguson celebrates the 25th anniversary of his arrival in Manchester, the Frenchman recalled the first time he met with the man who was to become the most successful manager in United's history.
"I remember my first meeting with Sir Alex when he wanted to sign me from Leeds and in the first minute I knew that I had to work with the man," said Cantona.
"Of course, the name of Manchester United meant so much in football anyway, but I saw a man who wanted the same things that I wanted.
"He told me I could become a great player at United - and I believed in everything he told me. He is a man who has the same spirit as me. Looking back he also saw the same philosophy in me that he saw in himself. We are football men.
"He was very special to me because he treated me like a man, not like a boy."