Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani reveals his toughest opponent

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Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has hailed Giorgio Chiellini and Eric Cantona

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has hailed Giorgio Chiellini and Eric Cantona (Picture: Getty)

Edinson Cavani has hailed Giorgio Chiellini as his toughest opponent and explained why Eric Cantona is the Manchester United legend he wishes he could have played with.

Having been at Man United, Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli over the past decade, Cavani has come up against many of the best defenders in the world.

The Uruguayan has more often than not come out on top in his battles against the world’s best, having scored 104 goals in 138 appearances for Napoli, 200 goals in 301 games for PSG and 17 goals in 40 matches so far for United.

But even Cavani found his clashes with Chiellini a tough assignment, identifying the Italy hero as the toughest opponent he has faced during his illustrious career.

Chiellini has made more than 500 appearances for Italian giants Juventus, winning nine Serie A titles and the European Championship with Roberto Mancini’s Italy this summer.

‘You can imagine that I’ve played against lots of different opponents, and lots of tough ones too,’ Cavani told MUTV.

‘But I’ve always said, and for a long time now, that the most difficult defender I’ve come up against was Giorgio Chiellini.

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Juventus legend Chiellini led Italy to Euros glory this summer

Juventus legend Chiellini led Italy to Euros glory this summer (Picture: Getty)

‘We’ve played against each other in many games, and we’ve competed against each other all over the pitch, so yes I can tell you that Giorgio Chiellini has been the toughest defender I’ve had to face.’

Cavani, who recently gave his No. 7 shirt to new Manchester United signing Cristiano Ronaldo, also heaped praise on Red Devils legend Cantona.

The former France international spent five seasons at Old Trafford, scoring 82 goals in 185 games and helping Sir Alex Ferguson’s side win four Premier League titles and two FA Cups.

Cavani added: ‘I reckon that Cantona would be a player with whom I would have liked to share the pitch here!

Cavani is a huge fan of Manchester United legend Cantona (Picture: Getty)

‘That is because of his character and for the way he lived out his football. And as I said, for his personality out there on the pitch.’

Cavani will hope to help Manchester United continue their bright start to the new season on Saturday when Newcastle United visit the Theatre of Dreams.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed new signing and all-time great Ronaldo will make his second United debut this weekend, while Jadon Sancho has been passed fit after his injury scare during the international break.

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