For me, it was an old VHS tape called Ooh Aah Cantona - The Cantona Phenomenon that changed everything. Before the days of soccer on ESPN or NBCSN, well before the era of YouTube skill show compilations and with the lasting memories of the 2002 World Cup seared into my mind, I was introduced to Eric Cantona.
The number seven emblazoned on his red shirt, striding around the pitch with dad bod physique, his collar upturned and with all the beguiling qualities of an existential Frenchman on his third glass of absinthe, Cantona was a side of football I’d never seen before.
A meeting between two clubs sitting side-by-side in the Premier League table turned out to be a thoroughly one-sided affair, Manchester United traveling to the Hawthorns to play West Bromwich Albion and comfortably winning 2-0.
The gap between the top six sides in England and the rest of the division appears to be pretty large on the evidence of Saturday’s match between the Red Devils and the Baggies. United are now unbeaten in eight consecutive EPL matches, and they’ve drawn level, at least momentarily, with Tottenham, who have a game in hand.
On Wednesday, Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 2-1. The first Manchester United goal was scored by Paul Pogba and assisted by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The second goal was scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and assisted by Paul Pogba.
There can only be one Man of the Match, so who was it to go to?
Well, the people who decide such things said it should go to Pogba (likely because Zlatan's assist may or may not have hit his arm), but Zlatan overruled them and said it should go to Zlatan.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is getting a statue in Sweden. Zlatan's statue does not have a shirt on. Not wearing a shirt is a very Zlatan thing for a statue to be doing.
The real Zlatan took a picture with the Zlatan statue.
It was over eight years ago on a cold night in Moscow that Manchester United defied the odds to defeat Chelsea and win the UEFA Champions League, their first victory in the competition since 1999. It was a monumental achievement from the Red Devils, and, to this day, it remains the club's last great European triumph.
Eight years on, it's interesting to take a look at what the 14 players who appeared on the night are up to now.