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It's Ferguson v Cantona as United take on New York Cosmos


MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) -- Former Manchester United striker Eric Cantona will be up against Alex Ferguson in the Old Trafford dugout in August when the Frenchman takes charge of the New York Cosmos for the Paul Scholes testimonial.

Cantona, director of soccer at the reformed Cosmos, and honorary president Pele will invite a selection of players from around the world to take on United on Aug. 5 for the American club's first match in more than a quarter of a century.

"I wish to congratulate Paul for such an incredible career at United and I am looking forward to returning to Old Trafford in my new role with the Cosmos," Cantona told the club's website ( on Friday.

The Frenchman, who retired in 1997 and was voted United's Player of the Century, was a cult figure at Old Trafford where he enjoyed a colourful and often controversial spell.

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"I hope they (the fans) enjoy the night especially seeing the boss (Ferguson) and Eric battling it out in front of the dugouts," said former England midfielder Scholes who retired last month.

The Cosmos, a former powerhouse in the now-defunct North American Soccer League (NASL) who once had Pele and Franz Beckenbauer in their ranks, folded in 1985 but were relaunched last August.

They hope to join North America's top professional league, Major League Soccer, when they have recruited players and found a stadium.