He was considered a maverick and had a number of controversial moments during his stay in a United shirt.
Talk to Sky Sports, Neville said Cantona may not have had such success in the Premier League if he played the game today due to his carefree attitude.
“We’re always talking about characters and personalities – people who do things differently,” said Neville. “We are thriving on this, it would be boring if you had the same things in the interviews.
“We like the characters but it happens less because of the importance of professionalism.
“In the 1990s, it was still allowed to go out for a drink. It was not the idea that you were superstars, you were footballers but there was always a connection with the man from the pub. It has become detached and the players are now athletes, every time they get it wrong [they are criticised].
“People love [Eric] Cantona would have flouted the locking rules. They are mavericks, they do what they want, they want freedom. What we expect from football players now, we no longer allow – it is not tolerated.
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“The mavericks in the game are being weaned off because of the behaviors. I was boring like hell, no one wanted to be a Gary Neville! You want to see people like Cantona who express themselves differently, we beat him from the players. ”
Cantona won four Premier League titles and two FA Cups with United before surprisingly announcing his retirement at only 30 and becoming an actor.