Premier League Hall of Fame: Who should join Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer in elite club?
Eric Cantona is on the Hall of Fame shortlist
Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry became the first players to be inducted to the Premier League Hall of Fame on Monday.
The Hall of Fame is intended to be the league’s highest individual honour, recognising retired players who were not only special talents but also standout professionals, and those who have made important contributions on and off the pitch.
Shearer is the top scorer since the Premier League was established in 1992, having racked up 260 goals for Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United. He also won the title in 1995 for Rovers under manager Kenny Dalglish.
“When you look at some of the unbelievable players to have graced the Premier League … I feel very honoured to join the Hall of Fame,” Shearer said. “All I ever wanted to be was a professional footballer. It was my dream to do that, to win trophies and score at St James’ Park, to wear the number nine. I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Henry scored 175 times in the Premier League for Arsenal, winning the Golden Boot a record dour times and collecting two titles, including the famous 2004 Invincibles season.
“To be inducted alongside Alan Shearer as the two first inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame is more than special,” Henry said. “When I was young, I was just trying to make sure I could get a pair of boots and now we’re talking about the Hall of Fame.”
So who should be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame with them?
Six of the following 23-man shortlist will be joining them. You can vote for your favourites on the Premier League website.
Hall of Fame shortlist
Tony Adams, David Beckham, Dennis Bergkamp, Sol Campbell, Eric Cantona , Andy Cole, Ashley Cole, Dider Drogba, Les Ferdinand, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Matthew Le Tissier, Michael Owen, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes, John Terry, Robin van Persie, Nemanja Vidic, Patrick Vieira, Ian Wright.
Here are our top six contenders:
An icon who transformed Manchester United into title winners as soon as he arrived from Leeds, and helped launch Sir Alex Ferguson’s dynasty at the club. Cantona was a unique mix of elegance and arrogance which took English football by storm and helped propel the Premier League on to the global stage.
An inspirational captain who cajoled his teammates to greater things. Keane was the complete midfield player, able to break up attacks and launch his own side’s forays forward, and was a crucial part of Manchester United’s glory years as he collected seven winners’ medals.
The greatest midfield goalscorer the league has seen, racking up 177 goals to be fifth on the Premier League’s all-time list among a list of heralded strikers. Scored the winning goals as Chelsea beat Bolton to win their first top-flight title for half a century and went on to lift the Premier League trophy twice more.
Not just a great captain for Chelsea who won five Premier League titles, but an elite defender who formed part of the meanest defence in a single Premier League season when, under Jose Mourinho, Terry and co conceded only 15 goals across the entire 2004/05 campaign.
Another captain who proved to be an inspirational player as well as a great one. Vieira was adored by his Arsenal teammates who willingly followed him into battle, and he led them to three Premier League titles including that famous Invincibles year.
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