Cantona, who won four Premier League titles in five years and two League and FA Cup Doubles with Manchester United, has been in Tepljuh, near Drniš, for more than a week now shooting scenes for the feature fiction film ‘Anka’.
Cantona, who took up a career in cinema after retiring from football in 1997, has not taken long to pick up a bit of the local language.
“Okani me se, molim te!” (stay away from me, please!) Cantona said to a Croatian TV journalist when probed if he had picked up any Croatian since he arrived.
Cantona’s role in the film requires him to speak Croatian and he has had his own methods of learning.
“It is completely different to my language. Croatian is a Slavic language. You even have letters we do not have. For two months now I have been working on my Croatian language and I think my neighbours think I am crazy because I practiced by speaking to myself. I speak it in the train, in the plane. Some people look at me funny. When I learn a text I need to hear it,” he explained.
Whilst in Croatia Cantona has expressed his admiration for the nation’s football prowess. A big fan of Real Madrid’s Luka Modrić, Cantona says that Croatia is stronger than France, despite being half the size of Paris.
Directed by Dejan Aćimović and produced by his sister Tatjana, Anka is based on the eponymous children’s book written by Mate Lovrak. World renowned French director of photography Thierry Arbogast is also working on the film, as well as actors Ralf Möller (“Gladiator”) and Rade Šerbedžija.