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Manchester U’s Eric Cantona, Dharma Offer Soccer Pilgrimages

Eric Cantona is a large, rumbling Frenchman who became one of England’s greatest soccer players. “King Eric,” who retired in 1997, was voted as Manchester United’s greatest-ever player by Inside United magazine. With a trademark upturned collar above his No. 7 jersey, Cantona exuded a charismatic and outspoken persona. Now the disruptive, enigmatic former player turned documentary director is offering a chance for fans to join him on fantastic footballing adventures.

Looking FC features four-day trips that take guests on an immersive sporting pilgrimage to global football cities. Crafted by Cantona, these trips are designed to immerse travelers in the world’s most vibrant clubs and their most loyal fans. In addition to the big game, trips feature unique experiences like fan chant workshops with superfans, sports-themed graffiti walking tours with local historians, and tactics briefings with leading journalists. These football odysseys culminate in a game day experience seated, standing, and chanting in the fan sections at iconic stadiums for massive matchups.

Eric Cantona (front) and photographer and Looking FC partner Karim Chater (back) on a motorbike in Casablanca.
Looking FC

Nine trips are featured this 2022 football season. Teams include, of course, Manchester United and Liverpool in England, Boca in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Inter Milan in Italy, Real Madrid and Barca Barcelona in Spain, PSG in Paris, Sporting Lisbon in Portugal, and Raja in Casablanca, Morocco.

“If you are a Manchester United fan, watching a game at Old Trafford is a dream. But that’s only one part of the story — have you heard of FC United and what they stand for? Do you know the chants of Stretford End? Beyond its artistic beauty, do you know the significance of the Marcus Rashford mural to the local community?” Cantona asked in a statement. “This is the essence of football, whether you are in Liverpool, Buenos Aires, or Casablanca.”

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Looking FC was named after the Looking For documentary series produced by Cantona and his brothers. Episodes dug into iconic soccer squads and their fanbases. The group was able to transcend video into real life with Looking FC. As to planning trips, the group collaborated with Dharma, a startup that launched travel brands like Equinox and Culture Trip.

“Over the next decade social media will drive the most significant disruption in travel history. Eric Cantona represents the authenticity and soul that 3 billion-plus football fans crave around the world. We believe the future of travel will be driven by passion, not geography,” Dharma co-founder and CEO Charaf El Mansouri said in a statement.

In line with Cantona’s vision, Looking FC also sought to take a planet-first approach to this travel plan. Toward this end, the group is partnering with Common Goal, a pledge-based charity looking to address dire social problems that was started with the support of Spanish footballer Juan Mata. Looking FC will also donate 1% of its revenue to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Initiative. Each trip is built with an emphasis on supporting local businesses, and all trips are carbon-offset through Thrust Carbon’s sustainability efforts.

“Our idea was to create the most passionate football trips on Earth, with charisma and soul. Everything today is optimized for price — we wanted to optimize for passion,” Cantona said. “These trips are for those who still believe in passion and want to go deeper into their love of football.”

Prices for iconic trips start at only 1,290 Euros or about $1,400 per person based on double occupancy and include all accommodations, experiences, most meals, guides, and match tickets. Find more information at www.lookingfc.com/en.

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